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2010 Grants - Richard
A New Perspective on Dementia: From Vascular Risk Factors to Prevention
Edo Richard, M.D.
Academic Medical Center
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
2010 New Investigator Research Grant
Studies have found that a variety of risk factors for cardiovascular disease—including high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity—also increase a person's risk of acquiring Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Evidence of brain blood vessel damage, a result of vascular disorders, often appears in people with Alzheimer's. Many researchers are trying to determine whether treatment of these cardiovascular risk factors may prevent or slow dementia onset.
In this proposed grant, Edo Richard, M.D., and colleagues plan to determine which cardiovascular factors have the greatest impact on dementia risk. They also hope to determine which types of people would benefit most from reducing dementia risk through cardiovascular treatment, and to devise optimal treatment procedures for such people.
To accomplish these goals, Dr. Richard and colleagues will analyze data from more than 8,000 elderly participants in three large studies of aging. Their work will attempt to identify the most prominent risk factors for cognitive decline in people with normal cognition, dementia and mild cognitive impairment (a condition that often precedes dementia). The researchers will also determine which population groups—based on cognitive, genetic and demographic characteristics—are most likely to have their risk of cognitive decline lowered by cardiovascular treatment. The team will then devise intervention treatments that can be implemented easily throughout a particular community, but also modified for the needs of particular individuals.
Results of Dr. Richard's effort will help clarify the links between cardiovascular problems and dementia. The effort could also establish affordable options for treating a wide variety of people with high dementia risk.