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Vascular and mixed dementias 

Vascular and mixed dementias
Chapter:
Vascular and mixed dementias
Author(s):

Robert Stewart

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199644957.003.0034
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date: 23 November 2017

Vascular disease is the most important environmental risk factor for dementia but this research area has been hampered by inadequate outcome definitions – in particular, a diagnostic system that attempts to separate overlapping and probably interacting pathologies. There is now substantial evidence that the well-recognised risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke are also risk factors for dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. However, these risk factors frequently act over several decades, meaning that the chances of definitive randomised controlled trial evidence for risk-modifying interventions are slim. This should not obscure the wide opportunity for delaying or preventing dementia through risk factor control and uncontroversial healthy lifestyles. Care should also be taken that comorbid cerebrovascular disease is not considered as excluding a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, particularly now that this determines treatment eligibility.

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