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Neurobiol Aging. 2006 Jul;27(7):933-40. Epub 2005 Jul 14.

Cognitive frailty: Predementia syndrome and vascular risk factors.

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  • 1Department of Geriatrics, Center for Aging Brain, Memory Unit, University of Bari, Bari, Policlinico, Piazza Giulio Cesare 11, 70124 Bari, Italy. geriat.dot@geriatria.uniba.it

Abstract

With increasing emphasis on early diagnosis of Alzheimer disease (AD), clinical research has focused on the identification of risk factors that may be modified at a preclinical and early clinical stage of dementing disorders. Prevalence and incidence of different predementia syndromes vary as a result of different diagnostic criteria, as well as different sampling and assessment procedures. Particular interest in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) arises from the fact that MCI is thought to be a prodromal phase and therefore highly predictive of subsequent AD. Furthermore, many of the risk factors for cerebrovascular disease (CVD) and vascular dementia (VaD), including serum total cholesterol, hypertension, atherosclerosis, and apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype have also been shown to increase the risk of AD. Both vascular factors and APOE epsilon4 allele have been associated with higher risk of AD. Some recent studies suggested further that CVD or vascular factors increased the risk of conversion of MCI to dementia. This review will focus on the possible role of vascular risk factors in modulating the risk of age-related cognitive decline, and the progression of predementia syndrome such as MCI to dementia.

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