Cerebral amyloid angiopathy is a condition of the cerebral arterioles and to a lesser extent capillaries and veins, wherein beta-amyloid is deposited. In arterioles, this preferentially targets vascular smooth muscle cells and in the later stages undermines the stability of the vessel. This condition is frequently comorbid with Alzheimer's disease and its role in cognitive impairment and dementia is a topic of considerable recent research. This article reviews recent literature which confirms that CAA independently contributes to cognitive impairment by potentiating the neurodegeneration of Alzheimer's disease, by predisposing to microhemorrhagic and microischemic injury to the brain parenchyma, and by interfering with the autoregulation of CNS blood flow. In this review, we discuss the clinical presentation of cerebral amyloid angiopathy, with a focus on the neuropsychological manifestations of this vasculopathy.
Keywords: Autoregulation; Azheimer’s disease; Cerebral amyloid angiopathy; Cognition; Complement; Microhemorrhages.