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Neurol Res. 2004 Jul;26(5):573-8.

The nature and effects of cortical microvascular pathology in aging and Alzheimer's disease.

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Kastor Neurobiology of Aging Laboratories and Fishberg Research Center for Neurobiology, Mount Siani School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA.


Age-related and amyloid-induced pathology of the cerebral microvasculature have been implicated as potential contributing factors to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The microvasculature plays a crucial role in maintaining brain homeostasis and deterioration of its integrity may have deleterious effects on brain function in AD, possibly leading to neurofibrillary degeneration, plaque formation, and cell loss. Brain vessels possess peculiar anatomical and physiological properties owing to their role in the exchange processes of various substances between blood and brain, which are highly regulated for the maintenance of ionic homeostasis of the neuronal environment. Here we review neuropathological aspects of cortical microvessels in aging and AD in relationship to known cardiovascular risk factors and their possible impact on the cognitive decline seen in late-onset dementia.

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