AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 4, 2017

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Research Hints at Underlying Cause for Alzheimer's Drug Trial Failures

Because Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the leading cause of dementia, many people use the two terms interchangeably. But inadequate blood flow to the brain due to micro infarcts, mini-strokes or strokes is hallmark of a disease called Vascular Cognitive Impairment and Dementia (VCID). VCID is the second most common cause of dementia, and the two are not mutually exclusive – researchers estimate that 40-60 percent of Alzheimer’s disease patients also have VCID.

A paper recently published in the Journal of Neuroscience by Donna Wilcock, PhD, of the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, reports that a certain form of immunotherapy targeted to Alzheimer’s patients may be ineffective when that patient also has VCID.

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