A new study conducted by US scientists has suggested damage to blood vessels leading to the brain can contribute to Alzheimer's disease.
Previous schools of thought have focussed on the harmful buildup of plaques and proteins, while patients who experience cognitive decline and damage to vessels are usually diagnosed with vascular dementia, Medscape News reports.
However, a study conducted at Columbus University in New York discovered a link between damage called white matter hyperintensities (WMH) and Alzheimer's disease.
The research, which appears in the latest edition of the Neurology journal, utilised data collected by the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, which collates medical assessments of dementia patients.
Led by Professor Adam Brickman, the team discovered correlation between the amount of WMH and the presence of amyloid beta - which is required for a diagnosis of Alzheimer's.
"This study, along with a whole line of research that is coming out right now, is clearly highlighting the importance of vascular disease in Alzheimer's disease," he stated.
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