Risk factors for development of neurocognitive disorders

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)


Vascular risk factors are believed to be involved in dementia development by increasing risk of the most common dementia types, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and vascular dementia. The aim of this thesis was to study if risk factors affect key brain pathology directly, by using biomarkers for dementia in preclinical stages, and to assess previous findings in a large population-based setting.

Paper I: arterial stiffness was not cross-sectionally related to cognitive performance or presence of cerebral microbleeds, and microbleeds did not affect cognitive performance in cognitively healthy elderly (n=208, mean age 72 years). There was a trend towards an association between arterial stiffness and white matter hyperintensities.

Paper II: increased levels of triglycerides and cholesterol in midlife (mean age 54
years) were independently associated with AD biomarkers (β-amyloid and tau) 20 years later, in 318 individuals who were cognitively healthy at follow-up (mean age 73 years).

Paper III: higher physical activity in midlife (assessed twice, mean age 58 and 63 years) was independently associated with reduced risk of incident vascular dementia (n=300) during 14 years of follow-up in a population-based cohort (n=20 639). No association between physical activity and incident all-cause dementia (n=1375) or AD (n=834) was found.

Paper IV: ultrasound markers of atherosclerosis measured in midlife (mean age 58 years) were associated with incident vascular dementia (n=109) and all-cause dementia (n=462), but not with AD (n=285) during 20 years of follow-up in a population-based cohort (n=6103). In a cognitively healthy subcohort (n=330), midlife atherosclerosis (mean age 54 years) was associated with cerebral small vessel disease, but not with AD biomarkers at follow-up (mean age 73 years).

These findings suggest that midlife dyslipidaemia may be directly related to brain AD pathology, whereas arterial stiffness, physical activity, and atherosclerosis seem to be primarily related to cerebrovascular disease.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Clinical Medicine


Translated title of the contributionRiskfaktorer för kognitiva sjukdomar
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
Award date2019 Apr 12
Place of PublicationLund
  • Lund University, Faculty of Medicine
Print ISBNs978-91-7619-759-2
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 2019-04-12 Time: 09:00 Place: Lilla aulan, Jan Waldenströms gata 5, Skånes Universitetssjukhus i Malmö External reviewer(s) Name: Kivipelto, Miia Title: professor Affiliation: Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm

Total downloads

No data available

Related research output

View all (2)