Imaging Markers of Vascular Brain Health: Quantification, Clinical Implications, and Future Directions

Prashanthi Vemuri, Charles Decarli, Marco Duering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cerebrovascular disease (CVD) manifests through a broad spectrum of mechanisms that negatively impact brain and cognitive health. Oftentimes, CVD changes (excluding acute stroke) are insufficiently considered in aging and dementia studies which can lead to an incomplete picture of the etiologies contributing to the burden of cognitive impairment. Our goal with this focused review is 3-fold. First, we provide a research update on the current magnetic resonance imaging methods that can measure CVD lesions as well as early CVD-related brain injury specifically related to small vessel disease. Second, we discuss the clinical implications and relevance of these CVD imaging markers for cognitive decline, incident dementia, and disease progression in Alzheimer disease, and Alzheimer-related dementias. Finally, we present our perspective on the outlook and challenges that remain in the field. With the increased research interest in this area, we believe that reliable CVD imaging biomarkers for aging and dementia studies are on the horizon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-426
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022


  • Alzheimer disease
  • Biomarkers
  • Brain
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Cognition
  • Dementia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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