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J Physiol Sci. 2017 May;67(3):345-351. doi: 10.1007/s12576-017-0525-0. Epub 2017 Feb 3.

Relationship between cognitive function and regulation of cerebral blood flow.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Toyo University, 2100 Kujirai, Kawagoe-Shi, Saitama, 350-8585, Japan.


Ageing is the primary risk factor for cognitive deterioration. Given that the cerebral blood flow (CBF) or regulation of cerebral circulation is attenuated in the elderly, it could be expected that ageing-induced cognitive deterioration may be affected by a decrease in CBF as a result of brain ischemia and energy depletion. CBF regulation associated with cerebral metabolism thus likely plays an important role in the preservation of cognitive function. However, in some specific conditions (e.g. during exercise), change in CBF does not synchronize with that of cerebral metabolism. Our recent study demonstrated that cognitive function was more strongly affected by changes in cerebral metabolism than by changes in CBF during exercise. Therefore, it remains unclear how an alteration in CBF or its regulation affects cognitive function. In this review, I summarize current knowledge on previous investigations providing the possibility of an interaction between regulation of CBF or cerebral metabolism and cognitive function.


Atherosclerosis; Autonomic dysfunction; Cerebral disease; Dementia; Neurovascular coupling; Vascular disease; Vascular risk factors

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