Genetics of vascular dementia - review from the ICVD working group

M. Arfan Ikram, Anna Bersano, Raquel Manso-Calderón, Jian Ping Jia, Helena Schmidt, Lefkos Middleton, Benedetta Nacmias, Saima Siddiqi, Hieab H.H. Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Background: Vascular dementia is a common disorder resulting in considerable morbidity and mortality. Determining the extent to which genes play a role in disease susceptibility and their pathophysiological mechanisms could improve our understanding of vascular dementia, leading to a potential translation of this knowledge to clinical practice. Discussion: In this review, we discuss what is currently known about the genetics of vascular dementia. The identification of causal genes remains limited to monogenic forms of the disease, with findings for sporadic vascular dementia being less robust. However, progress in genetic research on associated phenotypes, such as cerebral small vessel disease, Alzheimer's disease, and stroke, have the potential to inform on the genetics of vascular dementia. We conclude by providing an overview of future developments in the field and how such work could impact patients and clinicians. Conclusion: The genetic background of vascular dementia is well established for monogenic disorders, but remains relatively obscure for the sporadic form. More work is needed for providing robust findings that might eventually lead to clinical translation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number48
JournalBMC Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 6 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebral small vessel disease
  • Genetics
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Vascular dementia


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