The blood brain barrier in Alzheimer's disease

Vascul Pharmacol. 2017 Feb:89:12-18. doi: 10.1016/j.vph.2016.11.008. Epub 2016 Nov 25.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, affecting millions of people worldwide. One of the prominent causative factors of AD pathogenesis is cerebral vascular dysfunction, which results in diminished cerebral perfusion. Moreover, due to the loss of the protective function of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), impaired clearance of excess neurotoxic amyloid beta (Aβ) occurs, causing vascular perturbation and diminished cognitive functioning. The relationship between the prevalence of AD and vascular risk factors is complex and not fully understood. In this review we illustrate the vascular risk factors, their effects on BBB function and their contributions to the onset of AD. Additionally, we discuss the underlying factors that may lead to altered neurovascular function and/or cerebral hypoperfusion in AD.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; blood-brain barrier; vascular disorders.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism*
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism
  • Angiogenic Proteins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / metabolism*
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / pathology
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / physiopathology
  • Capillary Permeability*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation
  • Cognition
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Angiogenic Proteins