(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Scientists have discovered a unique way blood
vessels expel debris like blood clots, cholesterol and calcium plaque: they
The study was conducted at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
in Chicago. After analyzing mice, researchers found capillaries spit out
blockages by growing a membrane that surrounds it and then shoves it out of the
Blood vessel cells next to the blockage grew a membrane surrounding the debris.
The original blood vessel wall then opened up and spit the debris into the brain
tissue, making it harmless. The envelope covering the clot became the new vessel
wall. This process completely restores blood flow while saving the vessel and
nearby brain cells.
Aging brains perform this task 30 to 50 percent slower, which scientists say
probably results in the death of more blood vessels.
"The slowdown may be a factor in age-related cognitive decline and may also
explain why elderly patients who get strokes do not recover as well as younger
patients," Jaime Grutzendler, senior author and principal investigator of the
study and assistant professor of neurology and of physiology at Feinberg, was
quoted as saying. "Their recovery is much slower."
Source: Nature, May 27, 2010