The past decade has seen a renewed interest in vascular dementia . The search for a causal relationship between a vascular event or a vascular cerebral lesion and dementia has led to new classification schemes which no longer consider vascular dementia a homogeneous entity but acknowledge the diversity of the clinical and morphological substrates of this syndrome . Deviation from the term``multi-infarct dementia"is only one but many consequencies of these recent developments . Etiologically, vascular dementia may result from cerebral small vessel disease leading to extensive leucencephalopathy or lacunes or may be the consequence of strategically located infarcts or multiple infarcts in large vessel territories . It may also be the consequence of global cerebral hypoperfusion, intracerebral hemorrhage or other mechanisms such as vasculitis . There is no definitive medical or surgical treatment for vascular dementia . Thus, it appears that stroke prevention offers the most immediate and substantial solution to reduce the morbidity and mortality . This is best substantiated for treatment of arterial hypertension . Once vascular dementia occurs control of vascular risk factors may be useful but this contention will require larger scale studies to provide more definite proof . A number of metabolically active drugs has been used for the treatment of cognitive symptoms in vascular dementia . Yet, the data are conflicting und the effects described modest at most . There is epidemiological evidence for a more than incidental co-existence between vascular and primary degenerative dementia which suggests that therapies found to be effective in Alzheimer's disease may also prove beneficial at least in subgroups of vascular dementia . Lately, this concept is tested by several studies on the efficacy of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors in vascular dementia.
MeSH: Aged, Alzheimer Disease, classification, diagnosis, pathology, Brain, pathology, Dementia, Vascular, classification, diagnosis, pathology, Diagnosis, Differential, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Neuropsychological Tests, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Tomography, X-Ray Computed