The two most common forms of dementia are Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. The latter is caused by reduced circulation in the small blood vessels of the brain, which can be picked up in brain scans as small infarcts – strokes – or widespread changes in the white matter. The problem is that this small vessel disease presents very similarly to Alzheimer's disease, making it difficult in practice to distinguish between the two.
"Mapping the biochemical differences between the various forms of dementia will help us to understand what caused the disease, which in turn will determine how the disease should be treated." The possibility of differentiating between patients with mild cognitive disorders due to small vessel disease and patients with Alzheimer's needs to be given much greater attention, Bjerke believes, not least with a view to designing and implementing detailed treatment studies.
The thesis Cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers for differentiating between Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia was successfully defended on 9 June 2011.For further information, please contact: Maria Bjerke
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