Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy (CAA) is defined as abnormal deposits of beta amyloid protein (a protein similar to that in Alzheimer’s plaques) on the walls of the blood vessels of the brain.
If too much of this protein builds up, blood vessel walls can crack, allowing blood to leak out into the brain. These “bleeds,” large or small, damage the brain, and can cause or contribute to memory loss and other neurological problems. The bleeds can be detected with brain imaging such as MRI.
Researchers don’t yet understand what causes CAA, and there are no treatments available. Because substances that thin the blood may increase bleeding in the brain, people with CAA should check with their doctors before taking prescription blood thinners or over-the-counter pain medicines such as aspirin.
Read Tangled Neuron posts about CAA: