Atherosclerosis as a Risk Factor for Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

Vasiliki Panagiotis Zacharopoulou, Georgia Panagiotis Zacharopoulou, Kyriakos Karkoulias, Evangelos Tsampalas, Athina Lazakidou



The increasing prevalence of dementia, makes an urgent need to develop new approaches to mitigate the enormous social and economic impacts associated with it. Extensive research has proposed delimitation and control of the various, modifiable risk factors associated with its development and progress. While complex interactions of factors occurring during the lifetime of an individual, a growing number of studies has focused on their contribution to the degree of development. The role of cardiovascular risk factors, common in atherosclerosis and dementia, is important for cognitive impairment and vascular dementia, while, on the Alzcheimer’s pathology is disputable even today. Considering that atherosclerosis is closely related to cardiovascular events, has made it the object of many studies, whether, its harmful impact on cerebral function leads to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, atherosclerosis is being studied and, as an independent risk factor, which may influence cognitive function, regardless of cerebral infarcts. Atherosclerosis, and in particular Alzheimer’s pathology, may reflect a common underlying process that leads to a relationship between the two pathological conditions. Features common to both involve inflammation, macrophage infiltration, occlusion of the vasculature, amyloid accumulation, but also allelic variants in common genes including APOE.

Keywords: atherosclerosis, dementia, AD, VaD, PAD, CAS, vessel calcification