Carotid and Vertebral Arterial Variations in Alzheimer's Disease

Author(s): Rui Zhou, Dong Liu, Ke Yu, Yang Chen, Ling Li, Jianzhong Xu, Huadong Zhou.

Journal Name: Current Alzheimer Research

Volume 12 , Issue 4 , 2015

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Abstract:

The effects of carotid and vertebral arterial morphological variations on cognitive function impairment remain unclear. We investigated the association between extracranial carotid and vertebral arterial variations and the risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD). A prospective study with a 5-year followup was conducted from July 2008 to June 2013. A total of 1741 subjects (50 years of age and older) were examined for carotid and vertebral arterial variations using computed tomography angiography (CTA) and completed the study follow-up. Variations of the carotid and vertebral arteries were classified as tortuosity, kinking and coiling, according to the Weibel and Fields criteria. Cognitive function was assessed using the Mini-Mental State Examination and the Activities of Daily Living scale. We analyzed the association between arterial variations and the risk of AD by using multivariate Cox proportional-hazards models. The prevalence of carotid arterial variations was 38.4%, and the prevalence of vertebral arterial variations was 86.6%. Among the 1741 subjects who completed the study follow-up, 134 AD cases were detected. The subjects diagnosed with AD displayed greater kinking and coiling in the carotid artery (P<0.01) and vertebral artery (P<0.05) than the subjects without AD. After adjusting for potential confounders, kinking and coiling (hazard ratio [HR]=1.93, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.37 to 2.86, P<0.01) in the carotid artery were significantly associated with AD. Additionally, after adjusting for potential confounders, kinking and coiling (HR=1.73, 95% CI, 1.25 to 2.31, P<0.01) in the vertebral artery were significantly associated with the risk of AD. We determined that age, hypertension and smoking status were significant predictors of AD in the multivariable models with carotid and vertebral arterial variation. The results of the current study indicate that severe carotid and vertebral arterial variations are associated with a significantly increased risk of AD. Further investigation into the association between these variations and AD would be useful for preventing AD.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease, carotid arterial variations, vertebral arterial variations.

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Article Details

VOLUME: 12
ISSUE: 4
Year: 2015
Page: [368 - 376]
Pages: 9
DOI: 10.2174/1567205012666150325183903
Price: $58

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