Alzheimer's and Dementia
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Apathy, gait disturbances, and executive dysfunction (AGED) often occur together. Although they can arise independently, the presence of one might portend another. This recognition suggests the possible etiology. We focus on the most common, the vascular. We explain the AGED vascular mechanism through the ambibaric brain concept. The brain contains two complementary blood pressure systems: One high in the primitive brain (brainstem, basal ganglia, and thalamus) and a low-pressure system in the Homo sapiens brain (cerebral hemispheres). Hypertension inflicts the most damage on the primitive brain. The frontal systems connect to the basal ganglia, then the thalamus and back to the cortex. Many connections converge on the primitive brain where they are damaged by vascular disease. We need methods of determining optimal, individual blood pressures. Although the AGED triad can result from other causes, it should first signal a vascular etiology, the most prevalent, treatable, and preventable one.