Colin P. Derdeyn, MD, Associate Professor, Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology and the Departments of Neurology and Neurological Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA.
The brain requires the continuous delivery of oxygen and glucose for normal function. Even brief interruption or impairment of this supply can cause permanent injury, most dramatically and catastrophically in the form of stroke. There is emerging data that in addition to stroke, microvascular arterial obstructive disease may be a common cause of dementia. With normal aging, and as an effect of a number of diseases common in older adults such as hypertension, several pathological conditions of the brain vasculature may develop. This brief review will discuss a few common cerebrovascular diseases of older adults and recent data regarding their treatment. These conditions include intracranial aneurysms, atherosclerosis and atherosclerotic stenosis, and vascular dementia.
Key words: intracranial aneurysms, atherosclerosis, stroke, brain vasculature, vascular dementia.