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Alzheimer and vascular brain diseases: Focal and diffuse subforms.


Alois Alzheimer is best known for his description of the pre-senile neurodegenerative disease named after him. However, his previous interest in vascular brain diseases, underlying cognitive and behavioral changes, was very strong. Besides describing the Arteriosclerotic atrophy of the brain and the arteriosclerotic subtype of Senile dementia which he viewed as main forms of vascular brain diseases, he also identified and described a series of conditions he considered subforms. These may be divided, as suggested by the authors of the present paper, into 3 groups: gliosis and sclerosis, subcortical atrophies, and apoplectic. The subforms of the three groups present characteristic neuropathological features and clinical, cognitive and behavioral manifestations. These provide the basis, together with part of the main forms, for the contemporary condition known as Vascular Cognitive Impairment.

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