Cerebrovascular function and its association with systemic artery function and stiffness in older adults with and without mild cognitive impairment

Tom G. Bailey, Timo Klein, Annelise L. Meneses, Kayla B. Stefanidis, Stefanie Ruediger, Daniel J. Green, Tim Stuckenschneider, Stefan Schneider, Christopher D. Askew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Our aim was to compare cerebrovascular and systemic vascular function between older adults with and without mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and to determine which measures of vascular function best predict the presence of MCI. Methods: In 41 adults with MCI and 33 adults without MCI (control) we compared middle cerebral artery velocity (MCAv) and cerebrovascular pulsatility index (PI) at rest, cerebrovascular reactivity to CO2, and responsiveness to changes in blood pressure (%∆MCAv/%∆MAP). Systemic vascular function was assessed by flow-mediated dilation (FMD) and stiffness by pulse wave velocity (PWV). Results: Cerebrovascular PI was higher in MCI compared with control (mean ± SD: 1.17 ± 0.27 vs. 1.04 ± 0.21), and MCI exhibited a lower %∆MCAv/%∆MAP (1.26 ± 0.44 vs. 1.50 ± 0.55%). Absolute (p = 0.76) and relative cerebrovascular reactivity to CO2 (p = 0.34) was similar between MCI and control. When age was included as a covariate the significant difference in cerebral PI between groups was lost. PWV was higher (13.2 ± 2.2 vs. 11.3 ± 2.5 m s−1) and FMD% (4.41 ± 1.70 vs. 5.43 ± 2.15%) was lower in MCI compared with control. FMD% was positively associated with PI across the cohort. Logistic regression analysis indicated that FMD and PWV significantly discriminated between MCI and controls, independent of age, whereas the inclusion of cerebrovascular measures did not improve the predictive accuracy of the model. Conclusion: These findings raise the possibility that early changes in systemic vascular stiffness and endothelial function may contribute to altered cerebrovascular haemodynamics and impaired cognitive function, and present potential targets for prevention and treatment strategies in people with MCI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1843-1856
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Volume122
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

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