Ugeskr Læger 2018;180:V08170576
The blood-brain barrier in ageing persons
Brain capillary endothelial cells (BECs) form the ultra-tight blood-brain barrier (BBB). The permeability of the BBB increases with increasing age and neurovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Major defects of the BBB can be initiated by increased permeability to plasma proteins in small arteriosclerotic arteries and release of proteins from degenerating neurons into the brain extracellular space. These proteins deposit in perivascular spaces, and subsequently negatively influence the BECs leading to decreased expression of barrier proteins. Detection of BBB defects by the use of non-invasive techniques is relevant for clinical use in settings with advanced age and severe brain disorders.