Hypertension and longitudinal changes in cerebral blood flow: The SMART-MR study
ABSTRACT Cerebral hypoperfusion is among the mechanisms that may explain the association of high blood pressure (BP) with dementia. However, few data are available on the longitudinal association of hypertension and cerebral perfusion.
We examined the longitudinal association of hypertension, BP, and antihypertensive drugs with change in parenchymal cerebral blood flow (pCBF) in 575 patients with manifest atherosclerotic disease (mean age, 57 ± 10 years) from the SMART-MR study. Total CBF was measured at baseline and at follow-up with magnetic resonance (MR) angiography and was expressed per 100ml brain volume as an indicator of cerebral perfusion. Automated brain segmentation was used to quantify brain tissue volumes and cerebrospinal fluid on MR imaging.
Mean (standard deviation [SD]) baseline pCBF was 52.3 (9.8) ml/min/100ml and after 3.9 years (range, 3.0-5.8 years) of follow-up declined to 50.7 (10.3) ml/min/100ml. Regression analyses adjusted for age, sex, follow-up time, and vascular risk showed that untreated and poorly controlled hypertension and higher levels of systolic and diastolic BP (per SD) were significantly associated with a decline in pCBF; mean differences in decline (95% confidence interval) were -2.2 (-4.4 to 0.0), -1.0 (-1.8 to -0.1), and -1.0 (-1.8 to -0.2) ml/min/100ml. In addition, within hypertensive patients (n = 469), patients using angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) did not show a decline in pCBF, whereas patients using other antihypertensive drugs did show a decline in pCBF.
Untreated hypertension, poorly controlled hypertension, and high BP levels are associated with a decline in pCBF. In addition, treatment with ARBs might result in less decline in pCBF than other antihypertensive treatment.
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ABSTRACT: For some researchers, the relationship between prevalent cardiovascular risk factors and late-life cognitive decline is not worthy of further study. It is already known that effective treatment of vascular risk factors lowers risk of such major outcomes as stroke and heart attack, the argument goes; thus, any new information about the relationship between vascular risk factors and another major outcome - late-life cognitive decline-- is unlikely to have an impact on clinical practice. The purpose of this review is to probe the logic of this argument by focusing on what is known, and what is not known, about the relationship between vascular risk factors and late-life cognitive decline. The unknowns are substantial: in particular, there is relatively little evidence that current vascular risk factor treatment protocols are adequate to prevent late-life cognitive decline or the clinically silent brain injury that precedes it. In addition, there is relatively little understanding of which factors lead to differential vulnerability or resilience to the effects of vascular risk factors on silent brain injury. Differential effects of different classes of treatments are similarly unclear. Finally, there is limited understanding of the impact of clinically-silent neurodegenerative disease processes on cerebrovascular processes. Further study of the relationships among vascular risk factors, brain injury, and late-life cognitive decline could have a major impact on development of new vascular therapies and on clinical management of vascular risk factors, and there are promising avenues for future research in this direction.Neuropsychology Review 08/2014; 24(3). DOI:10.1007/s11065-014-9264-7
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ABSTRACT: Vascular risk factors and cerebral blood flow (CBF) reduction have been linked to increased risk of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease (AD); however the possible moderating effects of age and vascular risk burden on CBF in late life remain understudied. We examined the relationships among elevated vascular risk burden, age, CBF, and cognition. Seventy-one non-demented older adults completed an arterial spin labeling MR scan, neuropsychological assessment, and medical history interview. Relationships among vascular risk burden, age, and CBF were examined in a priori regions of interest (ROIs) previously implicated in aging and AD. Interaction effects indicated that, among older adults with elevated vascular risk burden (i.e., multiple vascular risk factors), advancing age was significantly associated with reduced cortical CBF whereas there was no such relationship for those with low vascular risk burden (i.e., no or one vascular risk factor). This pattern was observed in cortical ROIs including medial temporal (hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus, uncus), inferior parietal (supramarginal gyrus, inferior parietal lobule, angular gyrus), and frontal (anterior cingulate, middle frontal gyrus, medial frontal gyrus) cortices. Furthermore, among those with elevated vascular risk, reduced CBF was associated with poorer cognitive performance. Such findings suggest that older adults with elevated vascular risk burden may be particularly vulnerable to cognitive change as a function of CBF reductions. Findings support the use of CBF as a potential biomarker in preclinical AD and suggest that vascular risk burden and regionally-specific CBF changes may contribute to differential age-related cognitive declines.Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 07/2014; 6:159. DOI:10.3389/fnagi.2014.00159
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