Selective vulnerability of medial temporal regions to short-term blood pressure variability and cerebral hypoperfusion in older adults
Neuroimage Rep. 2022 Mar;2(1):100080. doi: 10.1016/j.ynirp.2022.100080. Epub 2022 Jan 18.
Blood pressure variability is an emerging risk factor for stroke, cognitive impairment, and dementia, possibly through links with cerebral hypoperfusion. Recent evidence suggests visit-to-visit (e.g., over months, years) blood pressure variability is related to cerebral perfusion decline in brain regions vulnerable to Alzheimer's disease. However, less is known about relationships between short-term (e.g., < 24 hours) blood pressure variability and regional cerebral perfusion, and whether these relationships may differ by age. We investigated short-term blood pressure variability and concurrent regional cerebral microvascular perfusion in a sample of community-dwelling older adults without history of dementia or stroke and healthy younger adults. Blood pressure was collected continuously during perfusion MRI. Cerebral blood flow was determined for several brain regions implicated in cerebrovascular dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease. Elevated systolic blood pressure variability was related to lower levels of concurrent cerebral perfusion in medial temporal regions: hippocampus (β = -.60 [95% CI -.90, -.30]; p < .001), parahippocampal gyrus (β = -.57 [95% CI -.89, -.25]; p = .001), entorhinal cortex (β = -.42 [95% CI -.73, -.12]; p = .009), and perirhinal cortex (β = -.37 [95% CI -.72, -.03]; p = .04), and not in other regions, and in older adults only. Findings suggest a possible age-related selective vulnerability of the medial temporal lobes to hypoperfusion in the context of short-term blood pressure fluctuations, independent of average blood pressure, white matter hyperintensities, and gray matter volume, which may underpin the increased risk for dementia associated with elevated BPV.