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Potential Therapeutics for Vascular Cognitive Impairment and Dementia

[ Vol. 16 , Issue. 7 ]


Miao-Kun Sun*   Pages 1036 - 1044 ( 9 )


Background: As the human lifespan increases, the number of people affected by agerelated dementia is growing at an epidemic pace. Vascular pathology dramatically affects cognitive profiles, resulting in dementia and cognitive impairment. While vascular dementia itself constitutes a medical challenge, hypo-perfusion/vascular risk factors enhance amyloid toxicity and other memory- damaging factors and hasten Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other memory disorders’ progression, as well as negatively affect treatment outcome.

Methods: Research and online content related to vascular cognitive impairment and dementia is reviewed, specifically focusing on the potential treatment of the disorder.

Results: Few therapeutic options are currently available to improve the prognosis of patients with vascular dementia and cognitive impairment, mixed AD dementia with vascular pathology, or other memory disorders. Emerging evidence, however, indicates that, like AD and other memory disorders, synaptic impairment underlies much of the memory impairment in the cognitive decline of vascular cognitive impairment and vascular dementia.

Conclusion: Effective rescues of the memory functions might be achieved through synaptic and memory therapeutics, targeting distinct molecular signaling pathways that support the formation of new synapses and maintaining their connections. Potential therapeutic agents include: 1) memory therapeutic agents that rescue synaptic and memory functions after the brain insults; 2) antipathologic therapeutics and an effective management of vascular risk factors; and 3) preventative therapeutic agents that achieve memory therapy through functional enhancement. These therapeutic agents are also likely to benefit patients with AD and/or other types of memory disorders.


Vascular dementia, vascular cognitive impairment, mixed dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, memory therapeutics, synaptogenesis, cerebral reserve, vascular risk factors, diabetes, hypertension, small vessel disease, stem cells, synaptic therapeutics.


Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute, 8 Medical Center Drive, Morgantown, West Virginia 26505

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