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Neurobiol Aging. 2005 Mar;26(3):293-302.

Neurodegenerative diseases: insights into pathogenic mechanisms from atherosclerosis.

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  • 1Department of Medicine 0682, University of California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, MTF 110, La Jolla, CA 92093-0682, USA.


Increasing evidence indicates that several pathogenic mechanisms promoting atherosclerosis are also involved in neurodegenerative diseases, and that insight into the factors determining the susceptibility to, and long-term progression of, atherosclerosis may be of interest for the evolution of diseases such as Alzheimer's. Furthermore, atherosclerosis of intracranial arteries or thromboembolic consequences of atherosclerotic extracranial arteries are responsible for most ischemic events in the brain. Age-related changes of cerebrovascular atherosclerosis, and atherosclerosis in general, may therefore be important for stroke and neurodegenerative diseases affecting the elderly. In the following, pathogenic mechanism involving increased lipid peroxidation, oxidative stress, inflammation and immune responses, and fetal programming will be discussed in the context of cerebrovascular disease and aging.

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