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Vascular risk factors and Alzheimer's Disease

Guest Editors: Prof Hugh Markus and Prof John O'Brien

 Recent evidence suggests that vascular risk factors predispose to Alzheimer’s dementia, and subclinical vascular disease, while cerebrovascular pathology interacts with Alzheimer’s pathology to increase the chance of an individual suffering clinical dementia. This raises the question as to whether treatment of vascular risk factors, either on a population basis prior to the development of dementia, or in patients with established Alzheimer’s disease, could reduce the burden of dementia. Novel treatment approaches to Alzheimer’s, such as targeting the vascular angle, are particularly important in view of the recent disappointing results from clinical trials targeting the amyloid hypothesis of Alzheimer’s disease.

This short series of articles in BMC Medicine, covers this topical area. In a review article, Kurt Jellinger and Johannes Attems examines the evidence that vascular pathology does interact with Alzheimer’s disease and how this interaction may occur. In another review article, Renée de Bruijn and Mohammad A Ikram look at whether cardiovascular risk factors increase the risk that individuals will develop Alzheimer’s disease. In patients with established Alzheimer’s disease the important question is whether treatment of vascular risk factors can modify disease course and this question is examined in a systematic review by Raffaella Valenti and colleagues.

All articles in this collection have been independently prepared by the authors and have been subject to the standard peer-review processes of the journal.

  1. Review

    Cardiovascular risk factors and future risk of Alzheimer’s disease

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disorder in elderly people, but there are still no curative options. Senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles are considered hallmarks of AD, but...

    Renée FAG de Bruijn and M Arfan Ikram

    BMC Medicine 2014 12:130

    Published on: 11 November 2014

  2. Editorial

    Vascular risk factors and Alzheimer’s disease

    Vascular factors are now established risk factors for cognitive decline, both for dementia and its two main subtypes: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and vascular dementia. Their impact likely goes beyond causing an ...

    John T O’Brien and Hugh S Markus

    BMC Medicine 2014 12:218

    Published on: 11 November 2014