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Neurobiol Aging. 2008 Oct;29(10):1587-90. Epub 2007 Apr 26.

AD brain pathology: vascular origins? Results from the HAAS autopsy study.

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  • 1Laboratory of Epidemiology, Demography and Biometry, National Institute on Aging, 7201 Wisconsin Ave., 3C-309 Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


An increasing number of studies suggest a vascular contribution to Alzheimer's disease (AD). One major question these findings raise is whether vascular disease enhances the formation of AD-like lesions, or whether vascular disease just adds to clinical severity. We examined this question in a fully characterized autopsy sample based on the Honolulu Asia Aging Study. We found that AD markers of neurodegeneration (amyloid plaques, cerebral amyloid angiopathy and neurofibrillary tangles) were no more prevalent in those with neuropathologically defined vascular lesions compared to those without lesions. Our study suggests the burden of vascular and AD type lesions are independent of each other, and are consistent with an additive effect of the two types of lesions on cognitive impairment.

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