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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 401604, 11 pages
Review Article

Neurobiology of Vascular Dementia

1Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, School of Medicine, “Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 8 Eroilor Sanitari, Sector 5, 050474 Bucharest, Romania
2Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Ltd., de Duve Institute, Université Catholique de Louvain, 1200 Bruxelles, Belgium
3Laboratory of Molecular Medicine, “Victor Babeş” National Institute of Pathology, 99-101 Splaiul Independenţei, Sector 5, 050096 Bucharest, Romania
4Department of Neurology, “Iuliu Hatieganu” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 8 Victor Babeş, 400023 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
5Department of Neurology, University Hospital Bucharest, “Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 169 Splaiul Independenţei, Sector 5, 050098 Bucharest, Romania
6International Clinical Research Center, St. Anne's University Hospital Brno, 53 Pekařská, 656 91 Brno, Czech Republic

Received 14 June 2011; Revised 27 June 2011; Accepted 28 June 2011

Academic Editor: Aurel Popa-Wagner

Copyright © 2011 Ana-Maria Enciu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Vascular dementia is, in its current conceptual form, a distinct type of dementia with a spectrum of specific clinical and pathophysiological features. However, in a very large majority of cases, these alterations occur in an already aged brain, characterized by a milieu of cellular and molecular events common for different neurodegenerative diseases. The cell signaling defects and molecular dyshomeostasis might lead to neuronal malfunction prior to the death of neurons and the alteration of neuronal networks. In the present paper, we explore some of the molecular mechanisms underlying brain malfunction triggered by cerebrovascular disease and risk factors. We suggest that, in the age of genetic investigation and molecular diagnosis, the concept of vascular dementia needs a new approach.