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expert reaction to a study on the cause of hardening of the arteries and a potential treatment

Research published in Cell Reports demonstrates that arterial hardening is caused be extracellular poly(ADP-ribose) inhibition of which may form a treatment for hardening arteries.


Dr Roxana Carare, Associate Professor Cerebrovascular Anatomy, University of Southampton, said:

“This is a very valuable interdisciplinary study using multiple sophisticated techniques to demonstrate that a compound (PAR) that is responsible for bone calcification, as well as the stiffening of artery walls. This has wide implications, as the stiffening of the walls of arteries is responsible for cardiovascular disease, but also for dementia. The stiffening of artery walls with PAR discovered in particular around the muscle that allows arteries to pump is responsible for reduced blood flow to the brain, precipitating strokes and vascular dementia. A more recently discovered role for the muscle within the walls of arteries is to pump out waste from the brain. If the muscle pump is obstructed by stiffening, this waste deposits as sticky plaques in the brain, killing off nerve cells, resulting in Alzheimer’s disease.

“The most promising aspect is the inhibition of poly(ADP-ribose) biosynthesis, providing a very optimistic avenue for future treatments for vascular and Alzheimer’s dementias.”


Poly(ADP ribose) links the DNA damage response and biomineralization.’ by Müller et al. was published in Cell Reports at 16:00 UK time on Tuesday 11 June.


Declared interests

None received. 



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