Vascular risk factors in Alzheimer's disease - preliminary report

J Neurol Sci. 2012 Nov 15;322(1-2):166-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2012.07.065. Epub 2012 Aug 30.


Background: The vascular risk factors are associated with an increased risk for vascular cognitive decline (VCD), but also with Alzheimer disease (AD).

Objective: To investigate vascular risk factors in relation to AD and VCD, with a non-invasive neurosonological methods in a clinical settings.

Results: A total of 296 patients with AD and 237 patients with VCD were included in the study. Hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus, stroke, and white matter changes (p<0.001) were significantly more prevalent in VCD, although they were also present in AD patients. No statistically significant differences were obtained between groups regarding coronary disease, atrial fibrillation, average degree of carotid artery stenosis and carotid intima-media thickness (cITM). However, the patients with AD had carotid artery stenosis ">50%" (p=0.007) and present plaques (p<0.001) more frequently compared to vascular group. The significant associations between robust cognitive measure and vascular factors, diabetes mellitus, carotid stenosis, cITM, and type of plaques were identified only in VCD, but not in AD group.

Conclusions: The vascular risk factors were more prevalent in VCD group, although they were also present in AD. With few treatment options available in AD, it may be important not to neglect the vascular risk factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology*
  • Carotid Arteries / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Intima-Media Thickness
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Mental Status Schedule
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed