Stem cells and vascular dementia: from basic science to the clinic

Vascular dementia (VD) is the second most common cause of dementia following Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The major symptoms of VD including memory loss, language deficits and impairment of executive functions. Its specific etiology and pathogenesis remain unknown. Currently, treatment options of VD are still limited. The therapeutic strategies aim to control the vascular risk factors and improve the cognitive function. In recent years, cell therapy for neurodegenerative diseases has attracted a great deal of attention. Evidence suggested that stem cell transplantation could improve the symptoms of cerebral infarction and AD. Therefore, it may serve as a potential therapy for VD. We summarized the latest research results both in vitro and in vivo. Further, the clinical trial of stem cell transplantation in VD patients was also reviewed. Finally, the limitations and future directions of cell therapy in VD treatment were discussed.

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