Genetics of vascular cognitive impairment the opportunity and the challenges

Gabrielle G. Leblanc, James F. Meschia, Donald T. Stuss, Vladimir Hachinski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose - This review considers the current state of knowledge of genetic factors underlying vascular cognitive impairment (VCI). Summary of Review - We argue here that genes conferring susceptibility to VCI must be of 2 nonmutually exclusive classes: (1) genes that confer susceptibility to cerebrovascular disease, and (2) genes that determine brain tissue responses to cerebrovascular disease (ie, render parenchymal tissue more or less susceptible to injury or able to repair itself after injury). Although some progress has been made in identifying genes of the first class, little has been done to explore genes of the second class. Evidence for the existence of such genes is presented. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different forms of cerebrovascular disease for studying these genes, and different study designs that might be used. Conclusion - The most critical challenge for genetic studies of VCI is to identify quantifiable phenotypes that can be reliably and effectively determined in large samples of subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-255
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Cerebrovascular disorders
  • Cognition
  • Dementia
  • Ischemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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