Changes in cerebral arterial pulsatility and hippocampal volume: a transcranial doppler ultrasonography study
Matt L. Miller, Paolo Ghisletta, Bradley S. Jacobs, Cheryl L. Dahlee, Naftali Raz. Neurobiology of Aging, Volume 108, December 2021, Pages 110-121
The physiological mechanisms of age-related cognitive decline remain unclear, in no small part due to the lack of longitudinal studies. Extant longitudinal studies focused on gross neuroanatomy and diffusion properties of the brain. We present herein a longitudinal analysis of changes in arterial pulsatility – a proxy for arterial stiffness – in two major cerebral arteries, middle cerebral and vertebral. We found that pulsatility increased in some participants over a relatively short period and these increases were associated with hippocampal shrinkage. Higher baseline pulsatility was associated with lower scores on a test of fluid intelligence at follow-up. This is the first longitudinal evidence of an association between increase in cerebral arterial stiffness over time and regional shrinkage.