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Blood vessel disease of retina may be marker of cognitive decline
Date:3/15/2012

e women with retinopathy also had more damage to the blood vessels of the brain. They had 47 percent more ischemic lesions, or holes, in the vasculature overall and 68 percent more lesions in the parietal lobe. The lesions, associated with vascular disease and sometimes stroke, are believed to be caused by high blood pressure. They also had more thickening of the white matter tracks that transmit signals in the brain, which also appear to be caused by high blood pressure.

Notably, the women did not have more brain atrophy, which is associated with Alzheimer's disease. This result indicates that retinopathy is a marker of neurovascular disease rather than Alzheimer's disease, according to Haan.

Co-author Mark A. Espeland, PhD, of Wake Forest University School of Medicine conducted the analysis of the data. The senior author of the study is Kristine Yaffe, MD, UCSF professor of psychiatry, neurology and epidemiology and biostatistics.


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Contact: Jennifer O'Brien
jennifer.obrien@ucsf.edu
415-502-6397
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert

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