Cognitive impairment associated with aging has emerged as one of the major public health challenges of our time. Although Alzheimer's disease is the leading cause of clinically diagnosed dementia in Western countries, cognitive impairment of vascular etiology is the second most common cause and may be the predominant one in East Asia. Furthermore, alterations of the large and small cerebral vasculature, including those affecting the microcirculation of the subcortical white matter, are key contributors to the clinical expression of cognitive dysfunction caused by other pathologies, including Alzheimer's disease. This scientific expert panel provides a critical appraisal of the epidemiology, pathobiology, neuropathology, and neuroimaging of vascular cognitive impairment and dementia, and of current diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. Unresolved issues are also examined to shed light on new basic and clinical research avenues that may lead to mitigating one of the most devastating human conditions.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; cerebral blood flow; cognitive dysfunction; small vessel disease; stroke.
Copyright © 2019 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.