Cerebrovascular Damage as a Cause for Alzheimers Disease
C. Humpel and J. Marksteiner
Affiliation: Laboratory of Exp. Alzheimer's Research/Laboratory of Psychiatry, Dep. of Psychiatry, Anichstr.35, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria.
Alzheimers disease is a progressive brain disorder that gradually destroys a patients memory function and ability to carry out daily activities. According to the prevailing amyloid cascade hypothesis, Alzheimers disease is initiated by amyloid ß-peptide accumulation leading to neuronal toxicity. The neurofibrillary tangle deriving from hyperphosphorylated tau and synapse loss are also key features for Alzheimers disease. Recent studies revealed a significant comorbidity of Alzheimers disease and cerebrovascular disease suggesting that cerebrovascular dysregulation is an important feature of Alzheimers disease. This mini-review will discuss the hypothesis that a dysfunction of the vascular system may result in damage of the neurovascular unit, initiating a cascade of events. An overlap with other forms of cognitive impairment, such as mild cognitive impairment, or vascular dementia will be discussed.
Keywords: vascular system, alzheimer, vascular dementia, hypothesis, cascade
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