Journal of Alzheimers Disease & Parkinsonism
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The world population is aging. It is estimated that by 2050 there will be over 1.6
billion people worldwide aged 65 and over (17% of the world’s population). The
greatest risk for dementia is increasing age. Vascular dementia (VaD) is one dementia
subtype that occurs with increasing age. This diagnosis is found in about 20% of people
with dementia. Many people with neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s disease
or Frontotemporal dementia, have microvascular disease and meet the clinical criteria
for a mixed-type of dementia. These mixed-dementia patients often have a more
malignant progression of their disease compared to individuals without microvascular
disease. Our clinical and research team focuses on early intervention in individuals
with mild cognitive impairment, including innovative treatment approaches to change
the trajectory of cognitive decline. This talk will be divided into three parts. The first
part will include an overview of the clinical and pathological heterogeneity of VaD. The
second part will emphasize clusters of patients with vascular cognitive impairment,
including major cognitive markers that seem to be prevalent across clinical subtypes.
Finally, the third part will present preliminary data regarding our clinical approach that
includes the innovative use of neural stimulation and photobiomodulation. Our clinical
research team uses a two-pronged approach to: (1) improve communication skills
and functional independence in patients with a dementia diagnosis, and (2) facilitate
early identification and treatment of at risk individuals. This discussion will focus on
our innovative treatment approaches designed to enhance functional independence,
improve communication skills, and reduce caregiver burden.
Anne L Foundas is a Cognitive and Behavioral Neurologist currently working as the Executive Director of the Brain Institute of Louisiana. She worked as a Professor of Neurology at Tulane University, Vice-Chair of Clinical Research at LSU, and Chair of Neurology at UMKC. Her clinical practice focuses on patients with cognitive disorders. Her research addresses questions about speech and language, motor control, learning and memory. She has published over 200 scientific papers.