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Article summary:

1. CSVD is a prevalent syndrome worldwide, contributing to strokes and dementia cases. Various pathophysiological changes are involved in its development, including hypoxic-ischemic injury, breakdown of the blood-brain barrier, loss of autoregulation, activation of the innate immune system, and protein elimination failure.

2. Environmental factors such as hypobaric hypoxia at high altitude have been reported to affect CSVD. As altitude increases, the amount of gas molecules in the air decreases, leading to a drop in barometric pressure and partial pressure of oxygen. This can trigger physiological responses and potentially contribute to the occurrence of CSVD.

3. The study aims to compare clinical and neuroimaging differences of CSVD between patients from low-altitude areas (plain) and high-altitude areas (plateau). Two cohorts of CSVD patients were recruited from hospitals in Beijing (low altitude) and Tibet (high altitude), and their medical records were analyzed retrospectively. The study will provide insights into the impact of chronic high-altitude exposure on CSVD.

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