Pattern of and risk factors for brain microbleeds in neurodegenerative dementia

Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2014 May;29(3):263-9. doi: 10.1177/1533317513517043. Epub 2014 Jan 8.


Objective: A cross-sectional study was conducted to describe the prevalence, locations, and risk factors for brain microbleeds (BMBs) in neurodegenerative dementia.

Methods: The database of the Alzheimer Center Reina Sofía Foundation was searched, BMBs were described, and the potential associations of BMBs were investigated using univariate statistics.

Results: A total of 148 patients (age 81.6 [standard deviation 6.7], 79.1% female) were studied. Prevalence of BMBs was 44.6%. A group of patients with unusually high (ie, ≥4) number of BMBs were identified, which displayed higher number of vascular risk factors and vascular diseases. Brain microbleeds were also associated with ischemic lesions in the basal ganglia (r = .39), clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and cerebrovascular disease (r = .33), cortical infarction (r = .20), and antiaggregant or anticoagulant treatment duration (r = .20).

Conclusions: Brain microbleeds are associated with vascular burden and AD diagnosis in old patients with neurodegenerative dementia. More research is warranted regarding the mechanisms and potential clinical implications of these results.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; brain microbleeds; dementia; magnetic resonance imaging; risk factors.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Dementia / diagnosis*
  • Dementia / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / diagnosis*
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / epidemiology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors