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Is the time ripe for new diagnostic criteria of cognitive impairment due to cerebrovascular disease? Consensus report of the International Congress on Vascular Dementia working group

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Johannes Attems



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2016 The Author(s). Background: Long before Alzheimer's disease was established as the leading cause of dementia in old age, cerebrovascular lesions were known to cause cognitive deterioration and associated disability. Since the middle of the last century, different diagnostic concepts for vascular dementia and related syndromes were put forward, yet no widely accepted diagnostic consensus exists to date. Discussion: Several international efforts, reviewed herein, are ongoing to define cognitive impairment due to cerebrovascular disease in its different stages and subtypes. The role of biomarkers is also being discussed, including cerebrospinal fluid proteins, structural and functional brain imaging, and genetic markers. The influence of risk factors, such as diet, exercise and different comorbidities, is emphasised by population-based research, and lifestyle changes are considered for the treatment and prevention of dementia. Conclusion: To improve the diagnosis and management of vascular cognitive impairment, further progress has to be made in understanding the relevant pathomechanisms, including shared mechanisms with Alzheimer's disease; bringing together fragmented research initiatives in coordinated international programs; testing if known risk factors are modifiable in prospective interventional studies; and defining the pre-dementia and pre-clinical stages in line with the concept of mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer's disease.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Perneczky R, Tene O, Attems J, Giannakopoulos P, Ikram MA, Federico A, Sarazin M, Middleton LT

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BMC Medicine

Year: 2016

Volume: 14

Issue: 1

Online publication date: 03/11/2016

Acceptance date: 14/10/2016

Date deposited: 24/04/2017

ISSN (print): 1741-7015

Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.


DOI: 10.1186/s12916-016-0719-y


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