Pericytes are specialized cells found in the walls of capillaries and small blood vessels within the brain and other organs. These unique cells play an essential role in regulating blood flow, stabilizing blood vessels, and supporting the integrity of the blood-brain barrier. Research has found that pericytes also play a critical role in neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and stroke. In Alzheimer's disease, pericytes have been shown to be involved in the accumulation of amyloid beta protein, a hallmark of the disease. Further studies have also found that pericyte dysfunction may contribute to the development of cognitive decline and dementia. Moreover, the dysfunction of pericytes in the brain has also been associated with the development of stroke. Pericytes help maintain vessel integrity and can also regulate blood flow, oxygen, and nutrient supply within the brain. However, when pericytes become damaged or dysfunctional, it can lead to insufficient oxygen and nutrient supply, ultimately leading to stroke. Therapies targeting pericytes have shown promising results in treating these neurological disorders. Pericyte transplantation and pericyte-targeted drug therapies are emerging as potential treatments for cerebral ischemia and traumatic brain injury. In conclusion, pericytes are vital cells that play a crucial role in regulating blood flow in the brain and other organs. Research into their involvement in neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and stroke has opened up promising avenues for therapy development. As research into pericytes continues, the role of these cells in neurological health and disease is likely to become more fully understood.

From: Neurobiology

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Editor-in-chief: Zheng Jiang, Department of Neuroscience, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Publication Type: Open Access Journal
Description: The brain, spinal cord, and nerves make up the nervous system. Together they control all the workings of the body. When something goes wrong with a part of your nervous system, you can have trouble moving, speaking, swallowing, breathing, or learning. You can also have problems with your memory, senses, or mood.