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Dementia in hereditary cerebral hemorrhage with amyloidosis-Dutch type is associated with cerebral amyloid angiopathy but is independent of plaques and neurofibrillary tangles

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Abstract

Cerebral amyloid angiopathy is frequently found in demented and nondemented elderly persons, but its contribution to the causation of dementia is unknown. Therefore, we investigated the relation between the amount of cerebral amyloid angiopathy and the presence of dementia in 19 patients with hereditary cerebral hemorrhage with amyloidosis-Dutch type. The advantage of studying hereditary cerebral hemorrhage in amyloidosis-Dutch type is that patients with this disease consistently have severe cerebral amyloid angiopathy with minimal neurofibrillary pathology. The amount of cerebral amyloid angiopathy, as quantified by computerized morphometry, was strongly associated with the presence of dementia independent of neurofibrillary pathology, plaque density, or age. The number of cortical amyloid β-laden severely stenotic vessels, vessel-within-vessel configurations, and cerebral amyloid angiopathy-associated microvasculopathies was associated with the amount of cerebral amyloid angiopathy and dementia. A semiquantitative score, based on the number of amyloid β-laden severely stenotic vessels, completely separated demented from nondemented patients. These results suggest that extensive (more than 15 amyloid β-laden severely stenotic vessels in five frontal cortical sections) cerebral amyloid angiopathy alone is sufficient to cause dementia in hereditary cerebral hemorrhage with amyloidosis–Dutch type. This may have implications for clinicopathological correlations in Alzheimer's disease and other dementias with cerebral amyloid angiopathy.

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