About this Research Topic
The dysfunction of the cerebral vasculature is key for the pathogenesis of cognitive impairment and the general term used for this is vascular cognitive impairment.
Recent evidence points to different problems associated with the cerebral arteries as central pathogenic features of Alzheimer’s disease as well as vascular dementia. The NIH has recognised this in the recent Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias summit March 2019 and research priorities have been set for basic mechanisms as well as clinical evidence for the role of vascular factors in the pathogenesis of dementias. The contractile cells within the walls of capillaries are pericytes and in the walls of arteries are vascular smooth muscle cells, with unique intrinsic control within the cerebral parenchyma, different to the innervation of arteries outside the brain. As cerebral vessels are the anatomical substrate for both perfusion of the brain as well as clearance of peptides that aggregate in neurodegenerative diseases, they represent attractive targets for treatment.
This Research Topic aims to provide a review of the morphological, physiological, pathological, radiological and clinical evidence for mural cells as novel therapeutic targets for vascular cognitive impairment.
Keywords: Vascular smooth muscle cells, Pericytes, Vascular cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's disease, Small vessel disease
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