University of Oulu

Zalán Rajna, Heli Mattila, Niko Huotari, Timo Tuovinen, Johanna Krüger, Sebastian C Holst, Vesa Korhonen, Anne M Remes, Tapio Seppänen, Jürgen Hennig, Maiken Nedergaard, Vesa Kiviniemi, Cardiovascular brain impulses in Alzheimer’s disease, Brain, Volume 144, Issue 7, July 2021, Pages 2214–2226,

Cardiovascular brain impulses in Alzheimer’s disease

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Author: Rajna, Zalán1; Mattila, Heli2; Huotari, Niko2;
Organizations: 1Center for Machine Vision and Signal Analysis, University of Oulu, 90570 Oulu, Finland
2Oulu Functional Neuroimaging Group, Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, University of Oulu, 90570 Oulu, Finland
3Research Unit of Clinical Neuroscience, Neurology, University of Oulu, 90570 Oulu, Finland
4Neurobiology Research Unit, Copenhagen University Hospital, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
5Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Medical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital, 90220 Oulu, Finland
6Department of Radiology, Medical Physics, Medical Center University of Freiburg, Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, 79110 Freiburg, Germany
7Center for Translational Neuromedicine, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14642, USA
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Oxford University Press, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-08-30


Accumulation of amyloid-β is a key neuropathological feature in brain of Alzheimer’s disease patients. Alterations in cerebral haemodynamics, such as arterial impulse propagation driving the (peri)vascular CSF flux, predict future Alzheimer’s disease progression. We now present a non-invasive method to quantify the three-dimensional propagation of cardiovascular impulses in human brain using ultrafast 10 Hz magnetic resonance encephalography. This technique revealed spatio-temporal abnormalities in impulse propagation in Alzheimer’s disease. The arrival latency and propagation speed both differed in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Our mapping of arterial territories revealed Alzheimer’s disease-specific modifications, including reversed impulse propagation around the hippocampi and in parietal cortical areas. The findings imply that pervasive abnormality in (peri)vascular CSF impulse propagation compromises vascular impulse propagation and subsequently glymphatic brain clearance of amyloid-β in Alzheimer’s disease.

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Series: Brain. A journal of neurology
ISSN: 0006-8950
ISSN-E: 1460-2156
ISSN-L: 0006-8950
Volume: 144
Issue: 7
Pages: 2214 - 222
DOI: 10.1093/brain/awab144
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 217 Medical engineering
3124 Neurology and psychiatry
Funding: This study was financially supported by Academy of Finland Grants 275352, 311934 and 314497, Terva-grant with Finnish Brain Foundation, Jane & Aatos Erkko Foundation Grant, Medical Research Center Oulu Grant, and the Infotech Oulu Doctoral Programme.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 275352
Detailed Information: 275352 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
314497 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © The Author(s) (2021). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.