Vascular Function in Alzheimers Disease and Vascular Dementia

We investigated vascular functioning in patients with a clinical and radiological diagnosis of either Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or vascular dementia (VaD) and examined a possible relationship between vascular function and cognitive status. Twenty-seven patients with AD, 23 patients with VaD, and 26 healthy control patients underwent measurements of flow-mediated dilation (FMD), ankle–brachial index (ABI), cardioankle vascular index (CAVI), and intima–media thickness (IMT). The FMD was significantly lower in patients with AD or VaD compared to controls. There were no significant differences in ABI, CAVI, or IMT among the 3 groups. A significant correlation was found between Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores and FMD. Furthermore, a multiple regression analysis revealed that FMD was significantly predicted by MMSE scores. These results suggest that endothelial involvement plays a role in AD pathogenesis, and FMD may be more sensitive than other surrogate methods (ABI, CAVI, and IMT) for detecting early-stage atherosclerosis and/or cognitive decline.

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