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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 51  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 61-64

Vascular cognitive impairment

Department of Neurology, Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad - 500 082, India

Correspondence Address:
Alladi Suvarna
Department of Neurology, Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad-500 082
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 21416020

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The term vascular cognitive impairment (VCI) has been proposed to encompass all people with cognitive impairment of cerebrovascular origin. VCI is not a single condition, but has several clinical presentations, etiologies, and treatment. VCI forms a spectrum that includes vascular dementia, mixed Alzheimer's disease with a vascular component, and VCI that does not meet dementia criteria. Multiple pathophysiological mechanisms contribute to VCI, accounting for its heterogeneity. Although main changes in the brain in VCI include cerebral infarcts, vascular cognitive impairment is thought to be due to factors beyond acute infarcts. Cerebral white matter lesions and silent brain infarcts are considered to be risk factors for VCI. The prevalence of VCI is high and this entity is poised to become the silent epidemic of the 21st century. Cognitive impairment due to cerebrovascular disease can to some extent be improved, and VCI prevented, if vascular risk factors are brought under control and strokes do not recur. Therefore, strategies that focus on the prevention and treatment of the cognitive impairment associated with cerebrovascular disease are high priority healthcare objectives.



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