Matrix metalloproteinase in blood-brain barrier breakdown in dementia

Erica M. Weekman, Donna M. Wilcock

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


The neurovascular unit, which consists of astrocytic end-feet, neurons, pericytes, and endothelial cells, plays a key role in maintaining brain homeostasis by forming the blood-brain barrier and carefully controlling local cerebral blood flow. When the blood-brain barrier is disrupted, blood components can leak into the brain, damage the surrounding tissue and lead to cognitive impairment. This disruption in the blood-brain barrier and subsequent impairment in cognition are common after stroke and during cerebral amyloid angiopathy and Alzheimer's disease. Matrix metalloproteinases are proteases that degrade the extracellular matrix as well as tight junctions between endothelial cells and have been implicated in blood-brain barrier breakdown in neurodegenerative diseases. This review will focus on the roles of MMP2 and MMP9 in dementia, primarily post-stroke events that lead to dementia, cerebral amyloid angiopathy, and Alzheimer's disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)893-903
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 24 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 - IOS Press and the authors.


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • cerebral amyloid angiopathy
  • hemorrhagic transformation
  • matrix metalloproteinases
  • stroke
  • vascular cognitive impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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