Vascular Dysfunction in the Brain; Implications for Heavy Metal Exposures

Author(s): Nzube F. Olung, Oritoke M. Aluko, Sikirullai O. Jeje, Ayotunde S. Adeagbo, Omamuyovwi M. Ijomone*

Journal Name: Current Hypertension Reviews

Volume 17 , Issue 1 , 2021

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Graphical Abstract:


Normal or diseased conditions that alter the brain’s requirement for oxygen and nutrients via alterations to neurovascular coupling have an impact on the level of the neurovascular unit; comprising neuronal, glial and vascular components. The communications between the components of the neurovascular unit are precise and accurate for its functions; hence a minute disturbance can result in neurovascular dysfunction. Heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury, and lead have been identified to increase the vulnerability of the neurovascular unit to damage. This review examines the role of heavy metals in neurovascular dysfunctions and the possible mechanisms by which these metals act. Risk factors ranging from lifestyle, environment, genetics, infections, and physiologic ageing involved in neurological dysfunctions were highlighted, while stroke was discussed as the prevalent consequence of neurovascular dysfunctions. Furthermore, the role of these heavy metals in the pathogenesis of stroke consequently pinpoints the importance of understanding the mechanisms of neurovascular damage in a bid to curb the occurrence of neurovascular dysfunctions.

Keywords: Neurovascular unit, blood-brain barrier, dysfunction, heavy metals, environment, stroke.

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Article Details

Year: 2021
Published on: 24 February, 2021
Page: [5 - 13]
Pages: 9
DOI: 10.2174/1573402117666210225085528
Price: $65

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