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Inverse relation between Braak stage and cerebrovascular pathology in Alzheimer predominant dementia


The most common neuropathological substrates of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease, cerebrovascular disease, and dementia with Lewy bodies. A preliminary, retrospective postmortem analysis was performed of the relative burden of each pathology in 25 patients with predominantly Alzheimer’s disease-type dementia. Log linear modelling was used to assess the relations between ApoE genotype, Alzheimer’s disease, and cerebrovascular disease pathology scores. Sixteen of 18 cases (89%) with a Braak neuritic pathology score ⩽4 had, in addition, significant cerebrovascular disease, or dementia with Lewy bodies, or both. There was a significant inverse relation between cerebrovascular disease and Braak stage (p=0.015). The frequency of the ApoE-ε4 allele was 36.4%. No evidence was found for an association between possession of the ApoE-ε4 allele and any one pathological variable over another. In this series most brains from patients with dementia for which Alzheimer’s disease is the predominant neuropathological substrate also harboured significant cerebrovascular disease or dementia with Lewy bodies. The data suggest that these diseases are perhaps pathogenetically distinct, yet conspire to produce the dementing phenotype.

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • cerebrovascular disease
  • dementia

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