Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Thesis defense Arenda Dado van Beek (Donders Series 28)

Date of news: 25 May 2010

31 May 2010

Promotor: Prof.dr. M.G.M. Olde Rikkert, copromotor: dr. J.A.H.R. Claassen

The regulation of cerebral pefusion in patients with Alzheimer's disease

In her thesis Mrs Dado investigated whether the regulation of cerebral perfusion is impaired in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The main findings of her thesis are twofold. First, she investigated a new method to assess dynamic cerebral autoregulation in older subjects using repeated sit-stand maneuvers. This maneuver provided a simple method to augment and measure fluctuations in blood pressure, cerebral blood flow, and cerebral cortical oxygenation, using Finapres, transcranial Doppler, and near-infrared spectroscopy, respectively. Secondly, mrs Dado applied this method to Alzheimer patients. In this patient group, the function of the cerebral microcirculation to maintain tissue oxygenation during fast blood pressure and cerebral blood flow changes was impaired. Treatment with cholinesterase inhibitors did not further impair this regulation. These new findings shed light on crucial aspects of brain dysfunction in Alzheimer patients, and give promising prospects for innovative lines of treatment for today’s and tomorrow’s older patients with Alzheimer pathology. This thesis received some media attention, for example on and BNR newsradio. (link: and

Arenda Dado