Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) sometimes reveals multiple cerebral microbleeds (CMBs) and confluent white matter hyperintensities (WMHs) similar to those observed in cerebral amyloid angiopathy-related inflammation (CAA-I). To determine whether there might be common pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the MRI findings of multiple CMBs and confluent WMHs, we investigated the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) profiles of 38 AD, five amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and six CAA-I patients. The AD and MCI patients were divided into groups of patients with (n = 10) or without (n = 33) multiple CMBs (n ≥ 2) on T2*-gradient echo sequences of brain MRI. We compared the CSF profiles of AD and MCI patients with or without multiple CMBs, and CAA-I patients. The brain MRIs of the patients with multiple CMBs revealed severe degrees of WMHs compared with the patients without multiple CMBs. The levels of CSF anti-amyloid β autoantibody and interleukin 8, and CSF/serum albumin ratios and immunoglobulin G indexes, were significantly higher in CAA-I patients than the other groups. However, there were no significant differences in the CSF profiles of patients with or without multiple CMBs. Our study provides evidence for different pathophysiological mechanisms underlying these differential MRI findings in AD and CAA-I.
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