Cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) is a disease of small blood vessels in the brain in which amyloid deposits in the vessel walls may lead to
stroke, brain hemorrhage, or dementia.
CAA is most common in patients over age 65, and becomes more common with increasing age. Men and women are equally affected. In some cases, CAA is sporadic but it may also be inherited as an autosomal dominant condition.
CAA is responsible for 5-20% of brain hemorrhages, and up to 30% of lobar hemorrhages localized to one lobe of the brain. CAA is more common in patients affected with Alzheimer's disease, than in the general population, and may occur in more than 80% of AD patients over age 60.
There is no effective treatment currently for the underlying disease process of CAA.
Since CAA is associated with progressive blood vessel degeneration, and since there is no effective treatment, most patients have a poor prognosis. As of 1998, 20-90% of patients die from the first hemorrhage or its complications.Prognosis is worse in patients who are older, or who have larger hemorrhages or recurrent hemorrhages within a short time.