We are testing a two hit vascular hypothesis in the pathophysiology of AD, based on oligemia and blood brain barrier (BBB) disruption which allows the leakage of amyloid β into the extravascular space of the brain. We are applying novel high field methodologies to detect this oligemia and BBB disruption using arterial spin labeling (ASL) perfusion MRI and dynamic contrast enhanced permeability MRI (DCE MRI) respectively. We aim collect imaging data and test feasibility for designing further study in distinguishing MCI (mild cognitive impairment), AD and vascular dementia from normal aging using 1) vasoreactivity to hypercapnia measured by ASL and 2) BBB permeability determined with DCE imaging.

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