About binswanger's disease
What is binswanger's disease?
Binswanger's disease (BD), also called subcortical vascular dementia, is a type of dementia caused by widespread, microscopic areas of damage to the deep layers of white matter in the brain. The damage is the result of the thickening and narrowing (atherosclerosis) of arteries that feed the subcortical areas of the brain. Atherosclerosis (commonly known as "hardening of the arteries") is a systemic process that affects blood vessels throughout the body. It begins late in the fourth decade of life and increases in severity with age. As the arteries become more and more narrowed, the blood supplied by those arteries decreases and brain tissue dies. A characteristic pattern of Binswanger's disease-damaged brain tissue can be seen with modern brain imaging techniques such as CT scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
What are the symptoms for binswanger's disease?
Unorganized symptom was found in the binswanger's disease condition
Affected individuals often become depressed, uncaring (apathetic), inactive, and unable to act or make decisions (abulic). They become withdrawn, and exhibit poor judgement, reduced planning and organizational skills, and less spontaneous communication. In addition, affected individuals may have difficulty with speech (dysarthria), swallowing (dysphagia), and urinary bladder control (incontinence). Some patients exhibit abnormalities that are similar to those seen in Parkinson disease, such as slowness, poor balance and short, shuffling steps (Parkinsonism). Tremor is usually not a feature.
Many individuals with Binswanger disease have a history of strokes or transient ischemic attacks. Consequently, the symptoms and signs of this disease develop in a stuttering or stepwise fashion; in contrast to the insidious, gradually progressive course of neurodegenerative diseases.
What are the causes for binswanger's disease?
Binswanger disease is caused by arteriosclerosis, thromboembolism and other diseases that obstruct blood vessels that supply the deep structures of the brain. Hypertension, smoking, hypercholesterolemia, heart disease and diabetes mellitus are risk factors for Binswanger disease. Rare hereditary diseases such as CADASIL (cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy) also cause Binswanger disease. Thus, Binswanger disease is actually a clinical syndrome of vascular dementia with multiple causes, not a specific disease. The reduced blood flow in brain tissue appears to produce secondary inflammation that may be a target for treatment.
What are the treatments for binswanger's disease?
There is no specific course of treatment for Binswanger's disease. Treatment is symptomatic.
What are the risk factors for binswanger's disease?
Binswanger disease affects males and females in equal numbers and usually occurs in individuals age 50 years or older.
Is there a cure/medications for binswanger's disease?
- People with depression or anxiety may require antidepressant medications such as the serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) sertraline or citalopram.
- Atypical antipsychotic drugs, such as risperidone and olanzapine, can be useful in individuals with agitation and disruptive behavior.
- Recent drug trials with the drug memantine have shown improved cognition and stabilization of global functioning and behavior.
- The successful management of hypertension and diabetes can slow the progression of atherosclerosis, and subsequently slow the progress of Binswanger's disease.
- Because there is no cure, the best treatment is preventive, early in the adult years, by controlling risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, and smoking.