10 Jun Multiple Brain Microbleeds Linked To Cognitive Decline and Risk of Dementia
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Meike Vernooij, MD PhD
Radiology and Epidemiology
Neuroradiologist and head & neck radiologist
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Vernooij: Background of this study was the fact that small brain bleeds, so-called cerebral microbleeds, are recognized increasingly as markers on brain scans of disease of the brain’s small vessels. In earlier years, microbleeds were demonstrated to be very frequent in patients with stroke, and also in persons with Alzheimer’s disease. Yet, our previous work indicated that microbleeds are not only common in patients, but are also frequently seen (in up to 1 in 5 individuals over age 45) in presumably healthy persons. Our main research question was therefore whether the presence of microbleeds on brain scans of asymptomatic, stroke-free and dementia-free individuals, was related to risk of cognitive decline and risk of dementia. We studied this in a population of > 4,800 persons whom we followed for nearly 6 years.
Our main findings are that presence of microbleeds, especially when multiple (esp > 4), relates to cognitive decline and risk of dementia, in particular Alzheimer’s disease.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Dr. Vernooij: Our results indicate that microbleeds mark the presence of diffuse vascular and neurodegenerative brain damage.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Vernooij: Future research should focus on exact mechanisms how microbleeds lead to dementia and cognitive decline, to identify possible preventive pathways.
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