Vol. 6 nº 3 - Jul/Aug/Set de 2012
Views & Reviews Páginas: 131 a 136

Relationship between cortical microinfarcts and cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's disease

Authors Benito P. Damasceno

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keywords: Alzheimer's disease, vascular cognitive impairment, dementia, microinfarcts, cerebral amyloid angiopathy, neurofunctional networks.

ABSTRACT:
Cerebrovascular disease and AD pathology co-exist in most dementia cases, and microinfarcts (MIs), particularly if cortical and multiple, play an additive and independent role in AD cognitive impairment. The main cause of cortical MIs is chronic cerebral hypoperfusion but occlusive vascular diseases, embolism and blood-brain barrier disruptions, isolated or combined, may also play a role. The precise mechanisms by which MIs cause cognitive impairment are not well known, but one plausible explanation is that they are widespread and accompanied by diffuse hypoperfusion, hypoxia, oxidative stress and inflammation, particularly in the watershed areas of the tertiary association cortex, and hence could damage cognition networks and explain many of AD's cognitive and behavioral disturbances. Therefore, it is crucial to control vascular risk factors and avoid uncontrolled use of the antihypertensives, neuroleptics and other sedative drugs frequently prescribed to AD patients.

 

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