Neuroimaging techniques such as PET and SPECT demonstrated a consistent reduction of cerebral blood flow (CBF) in Alzheimer's disease (AD). The aim of the study was to assess the potential role of ultrasonography for CBF measurement in AD patients and whether the CBF volume correlates positively with disease severity. Fifty patients who met the diagnostic criteria of probable AD (NINDS-ADRDA) were compared to 50 age-matched healthy elderly volunteers. The extracranial internal carotid arteries (ICAs) and the vertebral arteries (VAs) of the patients and controls were examined. Angle-corrected time-averaged flow velocity (TAV) and the diameter of the vessel were measured. Intravascular flow volumes were calculated as the product of TAV and the cross-sectional area of the circular vessel. CBF volume was calculated as the sum of flow volumes in the ICAs and VAs of both sides. All subjects underwent the MMSE. The mean global CBF (474.87 ± 94.085 vs. 744.26 ± 94.082 ml/min; p <0.0001) was lower in AD patients than in healthy volunteers. A significant decline in global flow volumes (r = 0.48; p <0.0007) with the degree of cognitive impairment was also present. The ability of ultrasonography to characterize flow decreases makes such a technique an attractive tool for the study of AD, for the evaluation of pharmacological therapies and, possibly, for early diagnosis.
- Alzheimer's disease
- Cerebral blood flow
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Geriatrics and Gerontology