PET shows link between arterial stiffness and dementia

October 17, 2013

PET scans show that elderly people with hardening of the arteries are more likely to have beta-amyloid plaque in the brain, even if they show no signs of dementia or Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published online October 16 in Neurology.

Researchers found that arterial stiffness was greatest among people with both increased beta-amyloid deposits and white-matter hyperintensities or lesions in the brain, both of which contribute to the development of dementia.

The findings provide more insight into the associations between arterial stiffness and beta-amyloid deposits and add to previous research suggesting a link between arterial stiffness and cerebrovascular disease, wrote lead author Timothy Hughes, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pittsburgh's Institute for Clinical Research Education, and colleagues (Neurology, October 16, 2013).