JAMA Neurology Study Highlights

In a study of elderly patients, Natalie L. Marchant, Ph.D., of the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues suggest there is no evidence that vascular brain injury (VBI) increases the likelihood of beta-Amyloid (Aβ) deposition, a diagnostic criterion for Alzheimer disease.

Researchers sought to examine the relationship between neuroimaging measures of VBI and brain Aβ deposition and their associations with cognition. The cross-sectional study involved 30 clinically normal individuals, 24 cognitively impaired patients and seven mildly demented patients whose average age ranged from 77 to almost 80 years of age.

"In this elderly sample with normal cognition to mild dementia, enriched for vascular disease, VBI was more influential than Aβ in contemporaneous cognitive function and remained predictive after including the possible influence of Aβ. There was no evidence that VBI increases the likelihood of Aβ deposition. This finding highlights the importance of VBI in mild cognitive impairment and suggests that the impact of cerebrovascular disease should be considered with respect to defining the etiology of mild cognitive impairment," the study concludes.