Background: As the human lifespan increases, the number of people affected by agerelated
dementia is growing at an epidemic pace. Vascular pathology dramatically affects cognitive
profiles, resulting in dementia and cognitive impairment. While vascular dementia itself constitutes
a medical challenge, hypo-perfusion/vascular risk factors enhance amyloid toxicity and other memory-
damaging factors and hasten Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other memory disorders’ progression,
as well as negatively affect treatment outcome.
Methods: Research and online content related to vascular cognitive impairment and dementia is
reviewed, specifically focusing on the potential treatment of the disorder.
Results: Few therapeutic options are currently available to improve the prognosis of patients with
vascular dementia and cognitive impairment, mixed AD dementia with vascular pathology, or other
memory disorders. Emerging evidence, however, indicates that, like AD and other memory disorders,
synaptic impairment underlies much of the memory impairment in the cognitive decline of
vascular cognitive impairment and vascular dementia.
Conclusion: Effective rescues of the memory functions might be achieved through synaptic and
memory therapeutics, targeting distinct molecular signaling pathways that support the formation of
new synapses and maintaining their connections. Potential therapeutic agents include: 1) memory
therapeutic agents that rescue synaptic and memory functions after the brain insults; 2) antipathologic
therapeutics and an effective management of vascular risk factors; and 3) preventative
therapeutic agents that achieve memory therapy through functional enhancement. These therapeutic
agents are also likely to benefit patients with AD and/or other types of memory disorders.