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Int J Mol Sci. 2016 Mar 8;17(3):347. doi: 10.3390/ijms17030347.

Hypertension and Dementia: Epidemiological and Experimental Evidence Revealing a Detrimental Relationship.

Author information

1
Department of Angiocardioneurology and Translational Medicine, IRCCS Neuromed, 86077 Pozzilli, Italy. m.perrotta1@studenti.unimol.it.
2
Department of Angiocardioneurology and Translational Medicine, IRCCS Neuromed, 86077 Pozzilli, Italy. lembo@neuromed.it.
3
Department of Molecular Medicine, "Sapienza" University of Rome, 00161 Rome, Italy. lembo@neuromed.it.
4
Department of Angiocardioneurology and Translational Medicine, IRCCS Neuromed, 86077 Pozzilli, Italy. daniela.carnevale@neuromed.it.
5
Department of Molecular Medicine, "Sapienza" University of Rome, 00161 Rome, Italy. daniela.carnevale@neuromed.it.

Abstract

Hypertension and dementia represent two major public health challenges worldwide, notably in the elderly population. Although these two conditions have classically been recognized as two distinct diseases, mounting epidemiological, clinical and experimental evidence suggest that hypertension and dementia are strictly intertwined. Here, we briefly report how hypertension profoundly affects brain homeostasis, both at the structural and functional level. Chronic high blood pressure modifies the cerebral vasculature, increasing the risk of Aβ clearance impairment. The latter, excluding genetic etiologies, is considered one of the main causes of Aβ deposition in the brain. Studies have shown that hypertension induces cerebral arterial stiffening and microvascular dysfunction, thus contributing to dementia pathophysiology. This review examines the existing and the updated literature which has attempted to explain and clarify the relationship between hypertension and dementia at the pathophysiological level.

KEYWORDS:

cerebrovascular dysfunction; hypertension; molecular mechanisms; vascular cognitive impairment

PMID:
27005613
PMCID:
PMC4813208
DOI:
10.3390/ijms17030347
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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