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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2002 Aug;50(8):1431-8.

Mixed dementia: epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment.

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Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève, Thônex, Switzerland.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) and vascular dementia (VaD) are the most frequent causes of dementia in older people. Although AD can be diagnosed with a considerable degree of accuracy, the distinction between isolated AD, VaD, and mixed dementia (MD), where both pathologies coexist in the same patient, remains a controversial issue and one of the most difficult diagnostic challenges. Although MD represents a very frequent pathology, especially in older people, as reported in neuropathological studies, the respective importance of degenerative and vascular lesions, their interaction in the genesis of dementia, and the mere existence of MD are still debated. Accurate diagnosis of MD is of crucial significance for epidemiological purposes and for preventive and therapeutic strategies. Until recently, pharmacological studies have generally focused on pure disease, AD or VaD, and have provided little information on the best therapeutic approach to MD. This article provides an overview of MD in older people. A retrospective review of the recent literature on prevalence, incidence, course, risk factors, diagnosis, and treatment of MD was performed. The article also emphasizes the need for further studies, including neuropsychological and functional evaluations, and neuroimaging and clinicopathological correlations to develop a better understanding of MD, which appears to be one of the most common forms of dementia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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