Cerebrovascular contributions to aging and Alzheimer's disease in Down syndrome

Donna M. Wilcock, Frederick A. Schmitt, Elizabeth Head

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Down syndrome (DS) is a common cause of intellectual disability and is also associated with early age of onset of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Due to an extra copy of chromosome 21, most adults over 40 years old with DS have beta-amyloid plaques as a result of overexpression of the amyloid precursor protein. Cerebrovascular pathology may also be a significant contributor to neuropathology observed in the brains of adults with DS. This review describes the features of cardiovascular dysfunction and cerebrovascular pathology in DS that may be modifiable risk factors and thus targets for interventions. We will describe cerebrovascular pathology, the role of co-morbidities, imaging studies indicating vascular pathology and the possible consequences. It is clear that our understanding of aging and AD in people with DS will benefit from further studies to determine the role that cerebrovascular dysfunction contributes to cognitive health. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Vascular Contributions to Cognitive Impairment and Dementia edited by M. Paul Murphy, Roderick A. Corriveau and Donna M. Wilcock.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)909-914
Number of pages6
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier B.V.


  • Beta-amyloid
  • Cerebral amyloid angiopathy
  • Hypertension
  • Hypotension
  • Microhemorrhages
  • Moyamoya
  • Sleep apnea
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology


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