Dementia is a highly prevalent disease that may have a cardiovascular component. White matter lesions and brain atrophy (brain abnormalities) are prevalent in dementia cases and might form part of the anatomical basis for the disease. We designed a multi-centre study, CASCADE (Cardiovascular Determinants of Dementia), to examine long-term (10-20 years) and short-term (5 years) cardiovascular risk factors for, and the cognitive consequence of, brain abnormalities. White matter lesions and atrophy are measured with magnetic resonance imaging. Cognitive function is measured with nine tests of memory and executive function. The studies included in CASCADE were ongoing and geographically spread throughout Europe to capture the cardiovascular risk gradient. In each study, a random sample of at least 100 subjects aged 65-75 years was selected who participated in the previous research examinations conducted by the respective centres. The objectives and design of the CASCADE project are described.
Copyright 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel