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Neurovascular MedicinePursuing Cellular Longevity for Healthy Aging$
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Kenneth Maiese

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195326697

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195326697.001.0001

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Alzheimer’s Disease—is it Caused by Cerebrovascular Dysfunction?

Alzheimer’s Disease—is it Caused by Cerebrovascular Dysfunction?

(p.369) Chapter 15 Alzheimer’s Disease—is it Caused by Cerebrovascular Dysfunction?
Neurovascular Medicine

Christian Humpel

Oxford University Press

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive chronic disorder characterized by β-amyloid plaques, tau pathology, cell death of cholinergic neurons, and inflammatory responses. The reasons for this disease are unknown, but damage of the cerebrovascular system are thought to play an important role. This chapter summarizes the most important hypotheses: the role of the β-amyloid cascade, tau pathology, cerebrovascular damage, glutamate-induced cell death, silent stroke and acidosis, the cell death of cholinergic neurons, the neurovascular unit, growth factor effects, and inflammation. Vascular risk factors are discussed by focusing on the idea that the cerebrovascular dysfunction triggers the development of the disease. A common hypothesis tries to link the different pathologies of the disease. Different forms of dementia, such as mild cognitive impairment, vascular dementia, and finally AD may overlap at certain stages.

Keywords:   cerebrovascular system, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, cerebrovascular damage, tau pathology, cell death, inflammation, silent stroke, acidosis

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