Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia among people aged 65 and older. AD is characterized by extracellular plaques containing misfolded amyloid beta peptides (Aß), formed in the brain many years before clinical signs are observed. Intracellular neurofibrillary tangles together with these plaques form the pathological hallmarks of the disease. However, why and how the disease develops is under intense investigation and no satisfying answers have been found until now.
Vascular dementia, also known as vascular cognitive impairment (VCI), is caused by problems in the supply of blood to the brain, typically a series of micro strokes, leading to cognitive decline that occurs stepwise. The incidence of vascular dementia is nine times higher in patients who have had a stroke compared to healthy controls. 25% of stroke patients develop new-onset dementia within one year after stroke.