Learn About Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy

What is the definition of Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy?

Cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) is a condition in which proteins called amyloid build up on the walls of the arteries in the brain. CAA causes bleeding into the brain (hemorrhagic stroke) and dementia.

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What are the alternative names for Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy?

Amyloidosis - cerebral; CAA; Congophilic angiopathy

What are the causes of Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy?

People with CAA have deposits of amyloid protein in the walls of blood vessels in the brain. The protein is usually not deposited anywhere else in the body.

The major risk factor is increasing age. CAA is more often seen in people older than 55. Sometimes, it is passed down through families.

What are the symptoms of Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy?

CAA can cause bleeding into the brain. Bleeding often occurs in the outer parts of the brain, called the cortex, and not the deep areas. Symptoms occur because bleeding in the brain harms brain tissue. Some people have gradual memory problems. When a CT scan is done, there are often signs that they have had bleeding in the brain that they may not have realized.

If there is a lot of bleeding, immediate symptoms occur and resemble a stroke. These symptoms include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Headache (usually in a certain part of the head)
  • Nervous system changes that may start suddenly, including confusion, delirium, double vision, decreased vision, sensation changes, speech problems, weakness, or paralysis
  • Seizures
  • Stupor or coma (rarely)
  • Vomiting

If bleeding is not severe or widespread, symptoms can include:

  • Episodes of confusion
  • Headaches that come and go
  • Loss of mental function (dementia)
  • Weakness or unusual sensations that come and go, and involve smaller areas
  • Seizures
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What are the current treatments for Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy?

There is no known effective treatment. The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms. In some cases, rehabilitation is needed for weakness or clumsiness. This can include physical, occupational, or speech therapy.

Sometimes, medicines that help improve memory, such as those for Alzheimer disease, are used.

Seizures, also called amyloid spells, may be treated with anti-seizure drugs.

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What is the outlook (prognosis) for Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy?

The disorder slowly gets worse.

What are the possible complications of Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy?

Complications of CAA may include:

  • Dementia
  • Hydrocephalus (rarely)
  • Seizures
  • Repeated episodes of bleeding in the brain
When should I contact a medical professional for Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy?

Go to the emergency room or call 911 or the local emergency number if you have sudden loss of movement, sensation, vision, or speech.

Amyloidosis of the fingers
Arteries of the brain
What are the latest Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy Clinical Trials?
Safety and Efficacy of Remote Ischemic Conditioning in Patients With Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy-related Intracerebral Hemorrhage:A Multicenter, Randomized, Controlled Study

Summary: Cerebral amyloid angiopathy-related intracerebral (CAAH) hemorrhage is second factor of primary intracerebral hemorrhage. However, no effective prevention and treatment strategies have been established. Remote ischemic conditioning is a neuroprotective strategy. In animal studies,RIC is efficiency in accelerating the absorption of hematoma. Therefore, the investigators plan to carry out this resea...

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Single-center, Prospective, Controlled Study of the Safety and Efficacy of Aspirin and Clopidogrel in Ischemic Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Patients Complications With CAA

Summary: Ischemic cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases are the main causes of death among people. Antiplatelet threrapy is very important for patients to prevent ischemic cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases.Ischemic cardiovascular patients of cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) patients is as high as 20%, aspirin and clopidogrel is applied to prevent or treat the patient with CAA is controvers...

What are the Latest Advances for Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy?
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: April 25, 2022
Published By: Joseph V. Campellone, MD, Department of Neurology, Cooper University Hospital, Camden, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Charidimou A, Boulouis G, Gurol ME, et al. Emerging concepts in sporadic cerebral amyloid angiopathy. Brain. 2017;140(7):1829-1850. PMID: 28334869 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28334869/.

Greenberg SM, Charidimou A. Diagnosis of cerebral amyloid angiopathy: evolution of the Boston criteria. Stroke. 2018;49(2):491-497. PMID: 29335334 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29335334/.

Polster SP, Carrión-Penagos J, Awad IA. Nonlesional spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage. In: Winn HR, ed. Youmans and Winn Neurological Surgery. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2023:chap 423.

Shoamanesh A, Kase CS. Intracerebral hemorrhage. In: Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, Newman NJ, eds. Bradley and Daroff's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 66.