Alzheimer's Plus Vascular Dementia: More Common Than Was Suspected
The line between
Alzheimer's and vascular dementia continues to blur. Vascular dementia
is caused by damage to the blood vessels of the brain, typically because
of stroke, mini-strokes (TIA's), or chronic high blood pressure. Until
recently, scientists believed that Alzheimer's and vascular dementia were
separate and distinct conditions. But a new study adds to growing evidence
that they often overlap.
New York researchers performed brain autopsies on 87 people who had been diagnosed with either "pure" vascular dementia or vascular dementia with Alzheimer's. There was very little differences in their brains. Almost all (87 percent) of those with purportedly "pure" vascular dementia showed brain abnormalities characteristic of Alzheimer's.
The implications are that people with vascular dementia might benefit from Alzheimer's treatments.
Source: J. Am. Geriatric Soc (1998) 46:597
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