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Review
. 2016 Sep 6;54(2):427-43.
doi: 10.3233/JAD-160527.

Stroke, Vascular Dementia, and Alzheimer's Disease: Molecular Links

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Free PMC article
Review

Stroke, Vascular Dementia, and Alzheimer's Disease: Molecular Links

Murali Vijayan et al. J Alzheimers Dis. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Stroke is a brain disease that occurs when blood flow stops, resulting in reduced oxygen supply to neurons. Stroke occurs at any time and at any age, but increases after the age of 55. It is the second leading cause of death and the third leading cause of disability-adjusted, life-years. The pathophysiology of ischemic stroke is complex and recent molecular, cellular, and animal models and postmortem brain studies have revealed that multiple cellular changes have been implicated, including oxidative stress/mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammatory responses, micro RNA alterations, and marked changes in brain proteins. These cellular changes provide new information for developing therapeutic strategies for ischemic stroke treatment. Research also revealed that stroke increases with a number of modifiable factors and most strokes can be prevented and/or controlled through pharmacological or surgical interventions and lifestyle changes. Ischemic stroke is the major risk factor for vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease. This review summarizes the latest research findings on stroke, including causal factors and molecular links between stroke and vascular disease/Alzheimer's disease.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; hemorrhage; inflammatory responses; ischemic stroke; magnetic resonance imaging; vascular dementia.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Schematic representation of clinical subtypes of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke and its associated disorders. Ischemic stroke is further classified into five types such as large-vessel disease, small vessel disease, cardio-embolic stroke, stroke of other determined aetiology and stroke of undetermined aetiology. Hemorrhagic stroke is classified into two types: intracerebral and subarachnoid.
Figure 2
Figure 2
List of modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors associated with ischemic stroke. The stroke is pathologically heterogeneous and the risk factor profiles leading to different types of stroke.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Different type of models of cerebral ischemia and their method of induction. Animal models of stroke have been used in studies of stroke-related risk factors. A good in vivo animal model of stroke must reproduce the most significant metabolic features of human stroke pathology.

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