Autonomic dysfunction in mild cognitive impairment: A transcranial Doppler study

G. P. Anzola, S. Galluzzi, S. Mazzucco, G. B. Frisoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives- The contribution of early microvascular and autonomic derangements to the pathogenesis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is unclear. Aim of this study is to evaluate cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR) and cardiac autonomic function in patients with MCI by means of transcranial Doppler (TCD). Material and Methods- Fifteen patients with MCI and 28 controls underwent carotid ultrasound and TCD evaluation, including assessment of mean flow velocity (MFV) in the middle cerebral artery at baseline, after CO 2 inhalation and after hyperpnoea. End-tidal CO 2, mean arterial blood pressure (MAP), heart rate (HR), and respiratory rate were monitored throughout the procedure, and CVR was calculated. Results- MAP, end-tidal CO 2, and MFV variations during hypercapnia and hyperventilation showed no between-group differences. CVR was similar in controls and MCI (2.30 vs 2,39, respectively, P=0.767). HR significantly increased in hypercapnia (+9.4%, P2 challenge. Should this finding be confirmed in larger studies, HR response to CO 2 challenge could become a marker of MCI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-409
Number of pages7
JournalActa Neurologica Scandinavica
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


  • Autonomic function
  • Cerebrovascular reserve
  • Heart-brain relationships
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Transcranial Doppler

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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