Background and aim
Changes of arterial stiffness indicate alteration in arterial mechanics predisposing to the evolution of stroke or vascular dementia. The aim of this pilot study was to investigate whether ultrasound parameters, particularly beta stiffness index (BSI), should be further explored as independent markers or risk factors for dementia.
Patients and methods
There were 38 demented patients included in this study (72.53±7.87 yrs) and 33 clinically healthy controls (68.85±3.52 yrs). Risk factors were noted and ultrasound measurements performed on common carotid artery (CCA) using eTracking software on Aloka ProSound ALPHA 10 with 13 MHz linear probe. Level of significance was p<0.05.
Arterial hypertension was present in 24 patients, atrial fibrillation in 9, diabetes in 3, and hypercholesterolemia in 18. Hypertension was present as a single risk factor in 15 controls with average diastolic blood pressure significantly lower in patients. Significantly higher in patients were mean intima-media thickness, systolic and diastolic CCA diameters (CD), and mean BSI in CCA bilaterally. Linear regression analysis for groups of Alzheimer's dementia and vascular dementia proved that MMSE of the two groups relates to CCA diameter change (CDc) and BSI change explaining up to 5% of variability.
CD, CDc and BSI should be monitored in patients with cognitive decline and further explored as possible independent markers or risk factors; in future studies groups of demented and non-demented patients should be age, sex and risk factor matched.
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Published online: March 16, 2009
© 2009 Elsevier B.V. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.