Vascular cognitive impairment

Wiesje M. Van Der Flier, Ingmar Skoog, Julie A. Schneider, Leonardo Pantoni, Vincent Mok, Christopher L.H. Chen, Philip Scheltens

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The term vascular cognitive impairment (VCI) was introduced around the start of the new millennium and refers to the contribution of vascular pathology to any severity of cognitive impairment, ranging from subjective cognitive decline and mild cognitive impairment to dementia. Although vascular pathology is common in elderly individuals with cognitive decline, pure vascular dementia (that is, dementia caused solely by vascular pathology) is uncommon. Indeed, most patients with vascular dementia also have other types of pathology, the most common of which is Alzheimer disease (specifically, the diffuse accumulation of amyloid-β plaques and neurofibrillary tangles composed of tau). At present, the main treatment for VCI is prevention by treating vascular diseases and other risk factors for VCI, such as hypertension and diabetes mellitus. Despite the current paucity of disease-modifying pharmacological treatments, we foresee that eventually, we might be able to target specific brain diseases to prevent cognitive decline and dementia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18003
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2018

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