(HealthDay News) – Arterial stiffness correlates with β-amyloid (Aβ) deposition in the brain of dementia-free older adults, according to a study published online Oct. 16 in Neurology.

Timothy M. Hughes, PhD, from the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues studied a cohort of 91 dementia-free participants aged 83–96 years, who completed brain magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography (PET) imaging using Pittsburg compound B in 2009. Resting blood pressure (BP), mean arterial pressure (MAP), and arterial stiffness by pulse wave velocity (PWV) were measured in the central, peripheral, and mixed (brachial ankle PWV [baPWV]) vascular beds in 2011.

The researchers found that 44 participants were Aβ-positive on PET scan. There was an association between Aβ deposition and mixed PWV, systolic BP, and MAP. An increase in baPWV (one standard deviation) resulted in a two-fold increase in the likelihood of being Aβ-positive (P=0.007). High white matter hyperintensity (WMH) burden correlated with elevated central PWV, systolic BP, and MAP. Each standard deviation increase in PWV correlated with a two- to four-fold increase in the odds of being Aβ-positive and having high WMH, compared to Aβ-negative individuals with low WMH burden.

“Arterial stiffness was highest in individuals with both high Aβdeposition and WMH, which has been suggested to be a ‘double hit’ contributing to the development of symptomatic dementia,” the authors write.

Two authors are coinventors of the Pittsburg compound B technology used in this study. Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

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