Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society

Research Article

Vascular smooth muscle function is associated with initiation and processing speed in patients with atherosclerotic vascular disease

DAVID J. MOSERa1 c1, IVY N. MILLERa1, KARIN F. HOTHa2a3, MARCELO CORREIAa4, STEPHAN ARNDTa1 and WILLIAM G. HAYNESa4

a1 Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa

a2 Department of Medicine, National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver, Colorado

a3 Department of Psychiatry, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado

a4 Department of Internal Medicine, General Clinical Research Center, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa

Abstract

We previously reported a relationship between forearm resistance vessel function and global neuropsychological performance in patients with atherosclerotic vascular disease (AVD). This study was conducted to determine the relationships among vascular smooth muscle function, endothelial function, and initiation and processing speed in this sample. Participants were 80 individuals with AVD. Resistance vessel function was measured before and after infusion of vasoactive agents. Neuropsychological assessment included measures of estimated premorbid cognitive function, current global cognitive function, initiation, and processing speed. Vascular smooth muscle function was significantly associated with the initiation/processing speed composite score [R-Square Change = .152; F Change (1,71) = 16.61; p < .001], above and beyond the variance accounted for by age, education, premorbid cognitive function, and endothelium-dependent vascular function. This relationship remained significant when controlling for current level of global cognitive functioning and 10 vascular risk factors. Endothelium-dependent vascular function was not significantly associated with test performance. Decreased vascular smooth muscle function in forearm resistance vessels was significantly associated with relatively poor initiation and processing speed in individuals with AVD. With additional research, measures of vascular function might become useful in the early identification of those individuals at greatest risk for vascular-related cognitive dysfunction. (JINS, 2008, 14, 535–541.)

(Received January 04 2007)

(Revised February 21 2008)

(Accepted February 21 2008)

Correspondence:

c1 Correspondence and reprint requests to: David J. Moser, Department of Psychiatry, W278 GH, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, 200 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City, IA 52242-1000. E-mail david-moser@uiowa.edu

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