Dietary habits and vascular risk factors promote both #Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive impairment caused by vascular factors. Furthermore, accumulation of hyperphosphorylated tau, a microtubule-associated protein and a hallmark of Alzheimer’s pathology, is also linked to vascular cognitive impairment. In mice, a salt-rich diet leads to cognitive dysfunction associated with a nitric oxide deficit in cerebral endothelial cells and cerebral hypoperfusion
Here we report that dietary salt induces hyperphosphorylation of tau followed by cognitive dysfunction in mice, and that these effects are prevented by restoring endothelial nitric oxide production..
..These findings identify a causal link between dietary salt, endothelial dysfunction and tau pathology, independent of haemodynamic insufficiency. Avoidance of excessive salt intake and maintenance of vascular health may help to stave off the vascular and neurodegenerative pathologies that underlie dementia in the elderly