Study examines association between small-vessel disease, Alzheimer pathology

May 12, 2014

Bottom Line: Cerebral small-vessel disease (SVD) and Alzheimer disease (AD) pathology appear to be associated.

Author: Maartje I. Kester, M.D., Ph.D., of the VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues.

Background: AD is believed to be caused by the buildup of amyloid protein in the brain and tau tangles. Previous studies have suggested that SVD and vascular risk factors increase the risk of developing AD. In both SVD and vascular dementia (VaD), signs of AD pathology have been seen. But it remains unclear how the interaction between SVD and AD pathology leads to dementia.

How the Study Was Conducted: Authors examined the association between SVD and AD pathology by looking at magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based microbleeds (MB), white matter hyperintensities (WMH) and lacunes (which are measures for SVD) along with certain protein levels in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) which reflect AD pathophysiology in patients with AD, VaD and healthy control patients. The authors also examined the relationship of apolipoprotein E (APOE) Ɛ4 genotype, a well-known risk factor for AD.

Results: The presence of both MBs and WMH was associated with lower CSF levels of Aβ42, suggesting a direct relationship between SVD and AD. Amyloid deposits also appear to be abnormal in patients with SVD, especially in (APOE) Ɛ4 carriers.

Discussion: "Our study supports the hypothesis that the pathways of SVD and AD pathology are interconnected. Small-vessel disease could provoke amyloid pathology while AD-associated cerebral amyloid pathology may lead to auxiliary vascular damage."
-end-
(JAMA Neurol. Published online May 12, 2014. doi:10.1001/.jamaneurol.2014.754. Available pre-embargo to the media at http://media.jamanetwork.com.)

Editor's Note: The authors made conflict of interest and funding disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

Media Advisory: To contact author Maartje I. Kester, M.D., Ph.D., email m.kester@vumc.nl

The JAMA Network Journals

Related Alzheimer Disease Articles from Brightsurf:

Potential link for Alzheimer's disease and common brain disease that mimics its symptoms
A new study by investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital uncovered a group of closely related genes that may capture molecular links between Alzheimer's disease and Limbic-predominant Age-related TDP-43 Encephalopathy, or LATE, a recently recognized common brain disorder that can mimic Alzheimer's symptoms.

Uncovering Alzheimer's disease
Characterized by a buildup of amyloid plaques in the brain, Alzheimer's is an irreversible disease that leads to memory loss and a decrease in cognitive function.

Viewpoint: Could disease pathogens be the dark matter behind Alzheimer's disease?
In a lively discussion appearing in the Viewpoint section of the journal Nature Reviews Neurology, Ben Readhead, a researcher in the ASU-Banner Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center at the Biodesign Institute joins several distinguished colleagues to discuss the idea that bacteria, viruses or other infectious pathogens may play a role in Alzheimer's disease.

Coordination chemistry and Alzheimer's disease
It has become evident recently that the interactions between copper and amyloid-╬▓ neurotoxically impact the brain of patients with Alzheimer's disease.

How Alzheimer's disease spreads through the brain
Tau can quickly spread between neurons but is not immediately harmful, according to research in mouse neurons published in JNeurosci.

A protective factor against Alzheimer's disease?
Researchers at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research (ISD) at the University Hospital of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universit├Ąt (LMU) in Munich have found that a protein called TREM2 could positively influence the course of Alzheimer's disease.

An alternate theory for what causes Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease, the most common cause of dementia among the elderly, is characterized by plaques and tangles in the brain, with most efforts at finding a cure focused on these abnormal structures.

Alzheimer's: How does the brain change over the course of the disease?
What changes in the brain are caused by Alzheimer's disease?

Possible pathway to new therapy for Alzheimer's disease
Researchers have uncovered an enzyme and a biochemical pathway they believe may lead to the identification of drugs that could inhibit the production of beta-amyloid protein, the toxic initiator of Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Promising novel treatment against Alzheimer disease
New research conducted at the Lady Davis Institute (LDI) at the Jewish General Hospital reveals that a novel drug reverses memory deficits and stops Alzheimer disease pathology (AD) in an animal model.

Read More: Alzheimer Disease News and Alzheimer Disease Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.