The role of capillary pericytes and LRP-1 in Parkinson's disease and dementia


  • Dr Ross Nortley

    University College London, United Kingdom

Project summary

Brain blood flow changes occur in Parkinson's disease dementia/Lewy Body Dementia. Cognitive decline and brain blood flow changes also occur in the schizophrenia, a devastating psychiatric disorder affecting ~1% of the world population. I previously found that, in Alzheimer's disease, brain capillaries are constricted by mis-folded amyloid beta-driven pericyte contraction. I now wish to determine whether capillary pericytes play a role in brain blood flow changes in Parkinson's disease/Lewy Body Dementia and schizophrenia. I will also determine how APOE receptor LRP-1 regulates tau phosphorylation in Alzheimer's. LRP-1 is a master regulator of tau uptake/spread and highly expressed on capillary pericytes within the brain. There is accumulating evidence that pericytes play an important role in Covid-19 injury to the nervous system. I will investigate the effect of Covid-19 on human brain capillary pericytes. All work is done with the aim of finding therapeutics for these serious diseases.