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May 29, 2012

While researching risk factors for stroke, I found out that more and more researchers are getting interested in the links between small vessel vascular disease and dementia – I got interested too…

Wellcome Trust Blog

For decades, stroke and dementia were treated quite separately in the UK, both clinically and in research, despite both being diseases of the brain. Dementia – especially Alzheimer’s disease – had been claimed by the psychiatrists and neurologists, while stroke remained in general medicine or geriatrics.

Today, scientists and doctors are becoming ever more aware of the links between stroke and dementia. The same risk factors apply to both diseases, implying some degree of common mechanism in their development. Michael Regnier asks Professor Rob Stewart whether stroke and dementia could be different manifestations of the same underlying disease.

“Anyone with any vascular risk factor – higher blood pressure, diabetes, higher cholesterol and so on – is also at risk of Alzheimer’s,” says Professor Rob Stewart, an old-age psychiatrist based at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London.

Stewart has a long-standing research interest in dementia and its relationship to…

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