Diabetes, Cardiovacsular and Cerebrovascular Disease in Dementia

Project Details


Dementia or Major Neurocognitive Disorder (MND) is a group of brain diseases that are a great socioeconomic burden since they affect life quality negatively for both the patients and the people around them. It is estimated that 50 million people suffer from dementia worldwide and it is also a number that is rapidly increasing.
The most prevalent cause of dementia is Alzheimer´s disease (AD), contributing to 40-70% of cases. Typical clinical symtoms for AD are disturbances in recent memory and problems with language, visuospatial function and attention. Neuropathologically the disease is characterized by an atrophy in specific brain regions such as the hippocampus and medial temporal lobe as well as a neurodegeneration with accumulation of pathological tau protein and amyloid-β in the brain tissue.

Vascular dementia (VaD), is considered the second most common cause of dementia after AD, contributing to 20% of cases. In VaD, it is the cerebrovascular disease that is responsible for the cognitive impairment, in absence of other pathologies. The symtoms does thus vary depending on the location and affects of the cerebrovascular pathologies.

In between these two subtypes of dementia there is another cause of dementia, Mixed AD-VaD dementia (MD). In MD, both AD pathology and cerebrovascular disease contribute to the cognitive impairment and symtoms. Some studies report that there are mixed pathologies in the majority of cases with dementia and therefore MD is should be considered the most prevalent cause of dementia.

Dementia of Lewy Bodies (DLB) is the second most common neurodegenerativ brain disorder and considered the third most common cause of dementia. The disease is clinically associated with visual hallucinations, parkisonism and cognitive fluctuations. Morphological hallmarks are α-synuclein lewy bodies and lewy neurites and the disease is often accompanied with AD pathology.

There is no effective treatment against dementia at the moment, only medication that could improve life quality or affect the disease development. The diagnostic tools for dementia are also suboptimal, reports show that the clinicopathological concordance of AD, VaD, MD and DLB is 60-90%.

Studies regarding diabetes, cerebrovascular disease and cardiovascular disease and their correlation to dementia are numerous. Most of them agree that these factors contribute to the development of dementia in general, specially VaD. However, recent studies suggest that these diseases also are risk factors for AD and that perhaps by treating these risk factors on an early stage, as most of these factors are treatable, we could prevent dementia.

Our study population will through out this project rely on neuropathologically confirmed cases of dementia. Compared to clinical studies, this will give us 100 % accuracy in knowing the correct dementing disorder for each studied case.

The aim of our project is to study these risk factors and diseases and their correlation to dementia. We hope that this project can stress the importance of correct diagnosis and guide the future focus of research in the field by contributing to better knowledge of different dementia subtypes and their risk factors.
Short titleRisk Factors for Dementia
Effective start/end date2018/08/01 → …

UKÄ subject classification

  • Clinical Laboratory Medicine


  • Dementia, Alzheimer´s disease, Vascular dementia, Diabetes, Hypertension, Atherosclerosis, Autopsy