Small-Vessel Disease, Alzheimer’s May Be Related

HealthDay News — Cerebral small-vessel disease and Alzheimer’s disease appear to be related, according to a study in JAMA Neurology.

Maartje I. Kester, MD, PhD, from the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, and colleagues analyzed data from 914 consecutive patients with available cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and magnetic resonance imaging participating in the Amsterdam Dementia Cohort. The study included 547 patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), 30 with vascular dementia, and 337 control participants with subjective memory complaints.

The researchers found that microbleed presence was associated with lower CSF Aβ42 in AD and vascular dementia (P=0.003 and 0.01, respectively) and higher CSF tau in controls (P=0.03).

For P-tau181 there was no effect. There was an association between the presence of white matter hyperintensity and lower Aβ42 in control participants and patients with vascular dementia (P=0.002 and 0.02, respectively), but not in patients with AD.

There was also an association between the presence of lacunes and higher Aβ42 in vascular dementia (P=0.07) and lower tau in AD (P=0.05). These effects were mostly attributable to ε4 carriers.

“Deposition of amyloid appears aggravated in patients with cerebral small-vessel disease, especially in apolipoprotein E ε4 carriers, providing evidence for pathophysiological synergy between these three biological factors,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Kester MI et al. JAMA Neurol. 2014; doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2014.754.

Disclosures: Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.See study for full disclosures.