Laboratories worldwide are carrying out research into the disease atherosclerosis. However, their focus is on atherosclerotic plaques–deposits of cholesterol, fibrous tissue, and immune cells that form on the inner layer of arteries. These plaques progressively constrict the lumen of the arteries, such that less oxygen can get to the body tissue. Heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral occlusive disease (smoker’s leg) are among the known consequences. “In recent decades, nobody has asked whether there is a direct connection between the artery and the brain–the obvious reason being that atherosclerotic plaques are not innervated,” says Dr. Sarajo K. Mohanta from the LMU Institute for Cardiovascular Prevention at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen (LMU).
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