Down Syndrome (DS) is a genetic disorder that can lead to Alzheimer’s Disease. However, DS adults are not very susceptible to vascular risks. An examination of cerebrovascular disease in this population can give new insights into AD. This study examines the related pathological biomarkers using MRI and in vivo techniques.

The study tries to relate the MRI biomarkers of cerebrovascular pathology with various risks. They include age, beta-amyloid pathology, mild cognitive impairment, and AD diagnostic status. A total of 130 participants above 50 yrs, with 39% of women, were studied. Their MRI data and biomarkers were thoroughly assessed. A subset of 90 subjects with amyloid PET was also included in this study. The derivatives were infarcts, cerebral microbleeds, white matter hyperintensities (WMH), enlarged perivascular spaces (PVS), and amyloid burden.

The subjects were grouped into cognitively stable (CS), mild (MCI‐DS), possible dementia (PADD), or definite dementia (DADD). The study detected WMH, enlarged PVS, infarcts, and microbleeds. These risks increased monotonically across all the diagnostic groups. The CS group was at less risk than the MCI-DS case, while MCI-DS<PADD<DADD. Also, infarct chances grew with a higher amyloid burden.

Cerebrovascular disease is prevalent in adults with DS. It is not just another comorbidity but a core feature of AD.