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Ageing Res Rev. 2002 Feb;1(1):61-77.

Demonstrating the case that AD is a vascular disease: epidemiologic evidence.

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  • 1Intramural Research Program, Laboratory of Epidemiology, Demography and Biometry, Neuroepidemiology Section, National Institute on Aging, 7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Gateway Building, Suite 3C-309, Bethesda, MD 20892-9205, USA.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most frequent type of dementia in old age. The pathology of AD is not well understood. One hypothesis states that AD has a vascular basis. This hypothesis is controversial because AD has traditionally been studied and treated as a separate disease from vascular dementia. This article reviews the epidemiologic evidence supporting an association between AD and two major vascular risk factors-blood pressure and diabetes. Both methodologic and biologic explanations for these associations are discussed.

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