Alzheimer's and Vascular dementias
A diagnosis is a label for a constellation of features. It allows us
to refine the concept of the disease, as well as acting as shorthand for
it. Its main value for the clinician however is to facilitate therapy.
Might it not be more useful to conclude either that the clinical syndromes
of Alzheimer’s and vascular dementias overlap, so that some vascular
disorders might be mistaken for Alzheimer’s unless vascular disease is
appropriately excluded or treated, or , better, that the syndromes as
presently defined (as used by the authors (1, 2)) are inadequate, and
better diagnostic criteria are required?
1. McKhann G, Drachman D, Folstein M, Katzman R, Price D, Stadlan EM.
Clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease: report of the NINCDS-ADRDA Work
Group under the auspices of Department of Health and Human Services Task
Force on Alzheimer's Disease. Neurology 1984;34: 939-44.
2. Roman GC, Tatemichi TK, Erkinjuntti T, Cummings JL, Masdeu JC, Garcia
JH, et al. Vascular dementia: diagnostic criteria for research studies.
Report of the NINDS-AIREN International Workshop. Neurology 1993;43: 250-
Competing interests: No competing interests