The link between dementia and cardiovascular disease

November 6, 2018, Society for Neuroscience

Studies that link breakdowns in the brain's blood vessels to Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia were presented today at Neuroscience 2018, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health. Molecules that signal damage in these systems could aid in earlier detection of these diseases and inform more effective interventions.

Alzheimer's disease and cause impairments of memory, cognition, and learning. Although there are important factors for these diseases, there is also strong evidence to suggest that such as and heart disease play a major role. The research presented today reveals new mechanisms for how damage to the brain's vascular system contributes to neurodegeneration and point towards potentially protective or therapeutic interventions, such as exercise.

Today's new findings show that:

  • Molecules called biomarkers, which signal brain vascular injury, could help identify in its early stages and allow intervention and eventually treatment to improve patient outcomes (Berislav Zlokovic, abstract 469.10).
  • Cardiovascular exercise seems to improve blood flow to white matter and protects against vascular impairment in a mouse model of dementia (Lianne Trigiani, abstract 467.15).
  • A molecule that is depleted in vascular dementia patients could be used for early detection or for treatment of patients with this (Deron Herr, abstract 469.27).
  • Age-related loss of function in the brain's lymphatic system plays a role in neurodegeneration and improving it could help delay or prevent Alzheimer's disease (Jonathan Kipnis, abstract 267.02).
  • The blood brain barriers' effectiveness is reduced in mice engineered with the strongest genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's, leading to neuronal loss and cognitive decline (Berislav Zlokovic, abstract 540.04).

"The research presented today represents a growing understanding of two complex and related disorders," said moderator Richard Wainford, Ph.D., of Boston University School of Medicine. "Knowledge of the neurobiology and mechanisms involved open the door to being able to identify dementia early, which offers hope of potential new treatments and interventions that could help patients and their families around the world."

Explore further: Pre-eclampsia linked to an increased risk of dementia later in life

More information: Related Neuroscience 2018 Presentation Featured Lecture: Neural Sequences in Memory and Cognition Monday, Nov. 5, 3:15-4:25 p.m., SDCC Ballroom 20

Related Stories

Pre-eclampsia linked to an increased risk of dementia later in life

October 17, 2018
Pre-eclampsia is associated with an increased risk of later dementia, particularly vascular dementia, caused by reduced blood supply to the brain due to diseased blood vessels, finds a large study published by The BMJ today.

Preeclampsia tied to tripling of dementia in later life

October 18, 2018
(HealthDay)—High blood pressure during pregnancy can be a sign of preeclampsia—a potentially life-threatening complication. Now, new research suggests preeclampsia might also make women more vulnerable to a specific type ...

Study clarifies ApoE4's role in dementia

September 20, 2018
ApoE4, a protein linked to both Alzheimer's disease and a form of dementia caused by damage of blood vessels in the brain, increases the risk of cognitive impairment by reducing the number and responsiveness of blood vessels ...

Treating dementia with the healing waves of sound

July 20, 2018
Ultrasound waves applied to the whole brain improve cognitive dysfunction in mice with conditions simulating vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease. The research, conducted by scientists at Tohoku University in Japan, ...

Stiffening of blood vessels may point to dementia risk

September 21, 2018
Arterial stiffness among people with mild cognitive impairments could put them at higher risk for progressing to dementia, which may include Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study exploring the connection between the ...

Brain study paves way for therapy for common cause of dementia

July 4, 2018
Scientists have uncovered a potential approach to treat one of the commonest causes of dementia and stroke in older people.

Recommended for you

Never-before-seen DNA recombination in the brain linked to Alzheimer's disease

November 21, 2018
Scientists from Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) have identified gene recombination in neurons that produces thousands of new gene variants within Alzheimer's disease brains. The study, published today ...

New information on the pathological mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease

November 21, 2018
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a mechanism by which harmful tau protein aggregates are transmitted between neurons. Alongside amyloid plaques, tau aggregates in the brain are a significant factor ...

DNA vaccine reduces both toxic proteins linked to Alzheimer's

November 20, 2018
A DNA vaccine tested in mice reduces accumulation of both types of toxic proteins associated with Alzheimer's disease, according to research that scientists say may pave the way to a clinical trial.

For Down syndrome adults, death and dementia often come together

November 19, 2018
(HealthDay)—Seven in 10 people with Down syndrome show evidence of dementia when they die, new research from Britain reveals.

Meditation and music may alter blood markers of cellular aging and Alzheimer's disease

November 13, 2018
A research team led by Dr. Kim Innes, a professor in the West Virginia University School of Public Health, has found that a simple meditation or music listening program may alter certain biomarkers of cellular aging and Alzheimer's ...

Alzheimer's and cardiovascular disease share common genetics in some patients

November 9, 2018
Genetics may predispose some people to both Alzheimer's disease and high levels of blood lipids such as cholesterol, a common feature of cardiovascular disease, according to a new study by an international team of researchers ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.