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Alzheimer's disease under the mask of stroke

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Cognitive impairments (CIs) are common in poststroke patients. The basis for this condition is frequently a neurodegenerative process and most often Alzheimer's disease (AD). Stroke may promote the manifestation of clinically asymptomatic AD, worsen prestroke cognitive deficit or merely manifest prestroke CIs.

The paper discusses the epidemiology, risk factors, and pathogenesis of poststroke CIs, current methods for its diagnosis, as well as symptomatic and pathogenetic treatment. The most informative method for the diagnosis of poststroke CIs is neuropsychological examination that should be made in the early poststroke period (if the patient's consciousness is clear). The most common screening tests include mini-mental state examination (the most sensitive to evaluate cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer type dementias) and the Montreal cognitive assessment. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain, positron emission tomography, cerebrospinal fluid examination, and genetic testing are used to reveal AD at its preclinical stages. Preventive measures include regular physical activity, a balanced diet, and sufficient mental workload. The prevention of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases are also important.

The major groups of drugs used to treat AD and vascular CIs are acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists. It is expedient to use glutamatergic and acetylcholinergic therapy earlier in patients with obvious CIs that are unassociated with emotional problems and disturbance of consciousness. Akatinol memantine is a drug that can be regarded not only as a symptomatic but also pathogenetic agent. 

About the Authors

A. A. Naumenko
I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Ministry of Health of Russia, Moscow
Russian Federation

Department of Nervous System Diseases and Neurosurgery

11, Rossolimo St., Moscow 119021 

N. V. Vakhnina
I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Ministry of Health of Russia, Moscow
Russian Federation

Department of Nervous System Diseases and Neurosurgery

11, Rossolimo St., Moscow 119021 


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For citations:

Naumenko A.A., Vakhnina N.V. Alzheimer's disease under the mask of stroke. Neurology, Neuropsychiatry, Psychosomatics. 2016;8(2):100-106. (In Russ.)

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