Washington: Vascular brain injury from conditions such as high blood pressure and stroke are greater risk factors for cognitive impairment among non-demented older people than is the deposition of the amyloid plaques in the brain that long have been implicated in conditions such as Alzheimer`s disease.This is according to a study by researchers at the Alzheimer`s Disease Research Center at UC Davis.The study found that vascular brain injury had by far the greatest influence across a range of cognitive domains, including higher-level thinking and the forgetfulness of mild cognitive decline.The researchers also sought to determine whether there was a correlation between vascular brain injury and the deposition of beta amyloid plaques, thought to be an early and important marker of Alzheimer`s disease, said Bruce Reed, associate director of the UC Davis Alzheimer`s Disease Research Center in Martinez, Calif.They also sought to decipher what effect each has on memory and executive functioning."The more vascular brain injury the participants had, the worse their memory and the worse their executive function - their ability to organize and problem solve," Reed said.The research was conducted in 61 male and female study participants who ranged in age from 65 to 90 years old, with an average age of 78. Thirty of the participants were clinically "normal," 24 were cognitively impaired and seven were diagnosed with dementia, based on cognitive testing. The participants had been recruited from Northern California between 2007 to 2012.
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