Division of Cell and Molecular Biology, School of Biological Sciences, College of Science, Nanyang Technological University, 60 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 637551
The number of dementia patients has been growing in recent years and dementia represents a significant threat to aging people all over the world. Recent research has shown that the number of people affected by Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia is growing at an epidemic pace. The rapidly increasing financial and personal costs will affect the world's economies, health care systems, and many families. Researchers are now exploring a possible connection among AD, vascular dementia (VD), diabetes mellitus (type 2, T2DM) and cardiovascular diseases (CD). This correlation may be due to a strong association of cardiovascular risk factors with AD and VD, suggesting that these diseases share some biologic pathways. Since heart failure is associated with an increased risk of AD and VD, keeping the heart healthy may prove to keep the brain healthy as well. The risk for dementia is especially high when diabetes mellitus is comorbid with severe systolic hypertension or heart disease. In addition, the degree of coronary artery disease (CAD) is independently associated with cardinal neuropathological lesions of AD. Thus, the contribution of T2DM and CD to AD and VD implies that cardiovascular therapies may prove useful in preventing AD and dementia.
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