Cerebral microbleeds (CMB) are often associated with vascular risk factors and/or cerebral amyloid angiopathy and are frequently identified in people with dementia. The present study therefore aimed to estimate the pooled prevalence and associations of CMB in Alzheimer's disease (AD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD), using meta-analytic methods. Sixty-five MRI studies were included after a systematic search on major electronic databases. We found that the prevalence of CMB was comparable across the three dementia subtypes (31-36%) and was highly influenced by the MRI techniques used. CMB in AD were associated with a history of hypertension and amyloid-β burden. In contrast, CMB in DLB, despite being predominantly lobar, were associated with hypertension, but not amyloid-β burden. These findings suggest that the underlying pathophysiology of CMB in DLB might differ from that of AD. There was substantially larger number of AD studies identified and more studies evaluating CMB in Lewy body dementias are warranted.
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