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Ageing Res Rev. 2017 Mar;34:51-63. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2016.11.003. Epub 2016 Nov 6.

Disordered APP metabolism and neurovasculature in trauma and aging: Combined risks for chronic neurodegenerative disorders.

Author information

1
Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh PA 15213, USA; Department of Neurology, University Of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh PA 15213, USA; Department of Psychiatry, University Of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh PA 15213, USA. Electronic address: ikonomovicmd@upmc.edu.
2
Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh PA 15213, USA; Department of Neurology, University Of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh PA 15213, USA.

Abstract

Traumatic brain injury (TBI), advanced age, and cerebral vascular disease are factors conferring increased risk for late onset Alzheimer's disease (AD). These conditions are also related pathologically through multiple interacting mechanisms. The hallmark pathology of AD consists of pathological aggregates of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides and tau proteins. These molecules are also involved in neuropathology of several other chronic neurodegenerative diseases, and are under intense investigation in the aftermath of TBI as potential contributors to the risk for developing AD and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The pathology of TBI is complex and dependent on injury severity, age-at-injury, and length of time between injury and neuropathological evaluation. In addition, the mechanisms influencing pathology and recovery after TBI likely involve genetic/epigenetic factors as well as additional disorders or comorbid states related to age and central and peripheral vascular health. In this regard, dysfunction of the aging neurovascular system could be an important link between TBI and chronic neurodegenerative diseases, either as a precipitating event or related to accumulation of AD-like pathology which is amplified in the context of aging. Thus with advanced age and vascular dysfunction, TBI can trigger self-propagating cycles of neuronal injury, pathological protein aggregation, and synaptic loss resulting in chronic neurodegenerative disease. In this review we discuss evidence supporting TBI and aging as dual, interacting risk factors for AD, and the role of Aβ and cerebral vascular dysfunction in this relationship. Evidence is discussed that Aβ is involved in cyto- and synapto-toxicity after severe TBI, and that its chronic effects are potentiated by aging and impaired cerebral vascular function. From a therapeutic perspective, we emphasize that in the fields of TBI- and aging-related neurodegeneration protective strategies should include preservation of neurovascular function.

KEYWORDS:

Aging; Alzheimer’s disease; Amyloid-beta; Brain trauma; Neurodegeneration; Neurovascular unit

PMID:
27829172
PMCID:
PMC5315701
DOI:
10.1016/j.arr.2016.11.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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