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2010 Grants - Corrada
Vascular Disease in Relation to Dementing Pathologies in the Oldest Old
Maria M. Corrada, Sc.D.
University of California, Irvine
2010 New Investigator Research Grant
Studies have found that vascular disorders, including high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, may increase one's risk of dementia later in life. Many of these studies have used participants in middle age, the time of life when vascular problems heighten the risk for many serious diseases. However, evidence suggests that the relationship between vascular disease and dementia risk may change as a person ages.
In preliminary research with very elderly participants, Maria M. Corrada, Sc.D., and colleagues found that the participants who developed dementia were less likely to have a history of hypertension than were the people who did not develop dementia. For this grant, Dr. Corrada's team hopes to clarify how the dementia risk presented by vascular disorders may change in the oldest old. The researchers will collect brain and vascular data from 140 participants in the 90+ Study, a long-term assessment of aging and dementia in people aged 90 and older. They will then analyze this data to determine the associations between dementia risk and high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol levels, heart disease and other vascular factors. The team will also assess whether vascular factors help accelerate dementia progression in people with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders.
The work of Dr. Corrada's group could shed new light on how the relationship between vascular health and brain health change over the course of a lifetime. Such knowledge could lead to effective lifestyle-oriented prevention strategies.