“This study contributes to a growing knowledge of brain imaging biomarkers of aging and age-related cognitive changes.” said Dr. Rundek, Scientific Director of the Miami Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Research Institute, “As a potential biomarker, enlarged perivascular spaces around small intracerebral vessels may be an early indicator of dysfunctional transport of nutrients and clearance of waste products, which is the critical function of perivascular spaces. This may be the first step in the process of neurodegeneration and other age-related brain disorders.”
The University of Miami Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute authored an important journal article in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, “Associations Between Vascular Risk Factors and Perivascular Spaces in Adults with Intact Cognition, Mild Cognitive Impairment, and Dementia.” The research team examined associations between perivascular spaces (PVS) count, vascular and neurodegenerative risk factors, and cognitive status among the predominantly Hispanic participants from the FL-VIP Study of Alzheimer’s Disease Risk.
The manuscript identifies associations of enlarged perivascular spaces with age, education, Hispanic ethnicity, and vascular disease. These findings support the hypothesis that perivascular spaces are age-related signs of subclinical vascular disease, and suggest that Hispanic/Latinos have a greater prevalence of enlarged perivascular spaces. This study supports future research at the University of Miami that semi-automates the detection of perivascular spaces to better examine potential mechanistic relationships between perivascular spaces and age-related brain diseases.
The research was funded by the Florida Department of Health Ed and Ethel Moore Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program.
Rundek T, Del Brutto VJ, Goryawala M, Dong C, Agudelo C, Saporta AS, Merritt S, Camargo C, Ariko T, Loewenstein DA, Duara R, Haq I. Associations Between Vascular Risk Factors and Perivascular Spaces in Adults with Intact Cognition, Mild Cognitive Impairment, and Dementia. J Alzheimers Dis. 2022. September 13; 89(2):437-448. PubMed ID: 35871327.