Original Contribution  |   November 2019
Effect of Osteopathic Cranial Manipulative Medicine on an Aged Rat Model of Alzheimer Disease
Author Notes
  • From Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg (Drs Tobey, Brolinson, and Costa, Mr Bledsoe, Mr Mykins, and Ms Campbell); Virginia–Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg (Mr Lucas and Drs Klein and Costa); Virginia Tech in Blacksburg (Mr Lucas and Drs Klein and Costa); Department of Radiology and Medical Imaging at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville (Dr Berr); Bruker BioSpin Preclinical Imaging in Billerica, Massachusetts (Dr Sasser); and the Department of Biochemistry (Drs Helm and Costa) at the School of Neuroscience at Virginia Tech (Dr Klein). 
  • Financial Disclosures: Dr Sasser is an employee of the Bruker BioSpin, the manufacturer of the imaging system used in the study. 
  • Support: This work was funded by Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine's Research Eureka Accelerator Program, Fund No. 10261 to Drs Costa, Tobey, Brolinson, and Klein. The imaging system was funded by NIH 1S10OD021672. 
  •  *Address correspondence to Blaise M. Costa, MPharm, PhD, Center for One Health Research, Virginia Tech, 1410 Prices Fork Rd, Blacksburg, VA 24060-3831. Email: bcosta@vcom.vt.edu
     
Article Information
Geriatric Medicine / Neuromusculoskeletal Disorders
Original Contribution   |   November 2019
Effect of Osteopathic Cranial Manipulative Medicine on an Aged Rat Model of Alzheimer Disease
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, November 2019, Vol. 119, 712-723. doi:https://doi.org/10.7556/jaoa.2019.121
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, November 2019, Vol. 119, 712-723. doi:https://doi.org/10.7556/jaoa.2019.121
Abstract

Context: In the aging brain, reduction in the pulsation of cerebral vasculature and fluid circulation causes impairment in the fluid exchange between different compartments and lays a foundation for the neuroinflammation that results in Alzheimer disease (AD). The knowledge that lymphatic vessels in the central nervous system play a role in the clearance of brain-derived metabolic waste products opens an unprecedented capability to increase the clearance of macromolecules such as amyloid β proteins. However, currently there is no pharmacologic mechanism available to increase fluid circulation in the aging brain.

Objective: To demonstrate the influence of an osteopathic cranial manipulative medicine (OCMM) technique, specifically, compression of the fourth ventricle, on spatial memory and changes in substrates associated with mechanisms of metabolic waste clearance in the central nervous system using the naturally aged rat model of AD.

Results: Significant improvement was found in spatial memory in 6 rats after 7 days of OCMM sessions. Live animal positron emission tomographic imaging and immunoassays revealed that OCMM reduced amyloid β levels, activated astrocytes, and improved neurotransmission in the aged rat brains.

Conclusion: These findings demonstrate the molecular mechanism of OCMM in aged rats. This study and further investigations will help physicians promote OCMM as an evidence-based adjunctive treatment for patients with AD.

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