George Spyropoulos, MD
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Washington University in St. Louis (WU)
Vascular disease contributes to neurodegeneration, which is associated with late life hypotension. Known mediators of vascular disease such as diabetes, hyperlipidemia and hypertension increase the risk for dementia later in life. In addition, cardiovascular- associated genes are related to neurodegeneration but the relationship between blood pressure and dementia is not yet well understood.
Ether lipids are a unique class of glycerophospholipids synthesized in the endoplasmic reticulum. They serve as major structural components of cell membrane and are implicated in cell signaling and protection from oxidative stress. Plasmalogens, the most common form of ether lipids have been found to be decreased in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other neurologic disorders and have been proposed as biomarker of neurodegeneration.