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Poor vascular health in mid-life is a well-established risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. A research team from Johns Hopkins University recently set out to investigate whether these lifestyle risk factors play a direct role in amyloid deposition in the brain. The 346 cognitively healthy participants began the study at age 45-64; they were assessed for vascular risk factors (including high BMI, smoking, hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol) and evaluated based on their age, gender, ethnicity, education, and presence or absence of the APOE ε4 allele. Then, using brain imaging technology, they determined the level of amyloid deposition in the brain; participants attended five of these assessments over approximately 25 years. “These data support the concept that midlife, but not late-life exposure to these vascular risk factors is important for amyloid deposition,” researcher Rebecca Gottesman wrote. “These findings are consistent with a role of vascular disease in the development of Alzheimer’s disease,” which suggests that poor general vascular health may either increase amyloid deposition or impair its clearing. The results were consistent across race and genotype, although they may have come to different conclusions with a bigger sample size. This study is a good starting point for future research that will need to be conducted in the area.
SOURCE: Science Daily: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170411130838.htm
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: JAMA: http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2616396
DATE RETRIEVED: April 13, 2017