Vascular Risk Factors and Alzheimer’s Disease

Authors: B. Urbanová 1;  A. Tomek 1;  R. Mikulík 2;  H. Magerová 1;  K. Sheardová 2;  D. Hořínek 3,4;  J. Hort 1,3
Authors‘ workplace: Neurologická klinika 2. LF UK a FN v Motole, Praha 1;  Mezinárodní centrum klinického výzkumu (ICRC), Neurologická klinika FN u sv. Anny v Brně 2;  Mezinárodní centrum klinického výzkumu (ICRC), FN u sv. Anny v Brně 3;  Neurochirurgická klinika 1. LF UK a ÚVN Praha 4
Published in: Cesk Slov Neurol N 2012; 75/108(6): 694-699
Category: Review Article


In this paper, we summarize current knowledge on the impact of vascular brain changes and vascular risk factors on the development and course of Alzheimer’s disease. The authors discuss the time relation and interactions between vascular and neurohistopathological changes typical for Alzheimer’s disease, commenting on possible underlying mechanisms of their origin. Neuroimaging methods to detect vascular changes in the brain are described; findings of these methods are correlated with an impact on cognitive functions and on the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease reported in the literature. The most common structural changes associated with vascular pathology are white matter lesions and cerebral micro­bleeds detectable on MRI. Perfusion SPECT and neurosonology monitor functional changes in cerebral perfusion. Detailed description of vascular changes in patients with Alzheimer’s disease could become a significant parameter in predicting the disease progression in patients with mild cognitive impairment or incipient dementia and assist in determining the risk of dementia in asymptomatic seniors. Neurosonology, an inexpensive, readily available and non-invasive examination of vascular parameters, is a promising monitoring method.

Key words:
Alzheimer’s disease – vascular hypothesis – vascular risk factors – white matter lesions – microbleeds – neurosonology


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