Intended for healthcare professionals


Cerebral emboli as a potential cause of Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia: casecontrol study

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 11 May 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:1119

"Alzheimer's disease" may not be a disease at all.

This study and the associated editorial suggest that Alzheimer's
disease and vascular dementia may be part of the "dementia spectrum".
Having seen hundreds of patients with dementia it has impressed me that in
part because the rate of progression and the characteristics of the
syndrome vary strikingly from person to person this may well be true.

Perhaps more importantly it has always seemed that Alzheimer's
disease may well not be a single entity and may merely be a label applied
to those persons with dementia who have no apparent cause. Is this
reminiscent of the period in history when "fever" was labeled a disease?
It may be time to do away with the term "Alzheimer's disease" altogether
and start looking for multiple causes for this dementing syndrome.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

16 June 2006
knight steel
chief, geriatrics
hackensack U Med Ctr, 20 prospect Ave, Hackensack, NJ, USA 07601