BMC Geriatrics (Sep 2022)

Clinical impact of microbleeds in patients with Alzheimer’s disease

  • Daniel Vázquez-Justes,
  • Iván Aguirregoicoa,
  • Leandre Fernandez,
  • Anna Carnes-Vendrell,
  • Faride Dakterzada,
  • Laura Sanjuan,
  • Andreu Mena,
  • Gerard Piñol-Ripoll

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 22, no. 1
pp. 1 – 10


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Abstract Introduction Cerebral microbleeds (CMBs) are more frequent in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) than in the general population. However, their clinical significance remains poorly understood. We carried out a multimodal approach to evaluate the impact of CMBs at a clinical, neuropsychological, and survival level, as well as on core AD biomarkers in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in AD patients. Methods We prospectively recruited 98 patients with mild-moderate AD. At baseline, they underwent brain MRI, and AD CSF biomarkers and APOE genotypes were analysed. An extensive neuropsychological battery was performed at baseline and after 1 year of follow-up. We analysed the stroke incidence and mortality with survival analyses. Results Forty-eight (48.5%) patients had at least one CMBs. Eight (8.2%) patients had strictly nonlobar CMBs, 39 (40.2%) had any lobar CMB locations. The incidence of stroke was higher in AD patients with lobar CMBs than in those without CMBs (p 0.05). At the cognitive level, CMBs patients deteriorated more rapidly at 12 months according to MMSE scores, with no differences observed at 24 months. We did not observe differences in the other tests, except for an increase in caregiver burden in the CMBs group. The presence of cerebral amyloidosis and APOE ε4 were associated with a greater presence of CMBs. Conclusion CMBs are associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke in AD patients without differences in mortality. Patients with CMBs did not seem to have different consequences associated with cognitive decline except for an increase in caregiver overload.