Contribution of cerebral microvascular mechanisms to age-related cognitive impairment and dementia

Xing Fang, Reece F. Crumpler, Kirby N. Thomas, Jena' N. Mazique, Richard J. Roman, Fan Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Cognitive impairment and dementia are significant health burdens worldwide. Aging, hypertension, and diabetes are the primary risk factors for Alzheimer's disease and Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (AD/ADRD). There are no effective treatments for AD/ADRD to date. An emerging body of evidence indicates that cerebral vascular dysfunction and hypoperfusion precedes the development of other AD pathological phenotypes and cognitive impairment. However, vascular contribution to dementia is not currently well understood. This commentary highlights the emerging concepts and mechanisms underlying the microvascular contribution to AD/ADRD, including hypotheses targeting the anterograde and retrograde cerebral vascular pathways, as well as the cerebral capillaries and the venous system. We also briefly discuss vascular endothelial dysfunction, oxidative stress, inflammation, and cellular senescence that may contribute to impaired cerebral blood flow autoregulation, neurovascular uncoupling, and dysfunction of cerebral capillaries and the venous system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-30
Number of pages11
JournalPhysiology International
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 31 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • aging
  • capillary
  • cerebral blood flow
  • cerebral venous system
  • dementia
  • neurovascular coupling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)


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