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Genetic Determinants of Vascular Dementia.

Vascular dementia (VaD) is a prevalent form of cognitive impairment with underlying vascular etiology. In this review, we examine recent genetic advancements in our understanding of VaD, encompassing a range of methodologies including genome-wide association studies (GWAS), polygenic risk scores (PRS), heritability estimates, and family studies for monogenic disorders revealing the complex and heterogeneous nature of the disease. We report well-known genetic associations and highlight potential pathways and mechanisms implicated in VaD and its pathological risk factors, including stroke, cerebral small vessel diseases and cerebral amyloid angiopathy. Moreover, we discuss important modifiable risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia, emphasizing the importance of a multifactorial approach in prevention, treatment, and understanding the genetic basis of VaD. Lastly, we outline several areas of scientific advancements to improve clinical care, highlighting that large-scale collaborative efforts, together with an integromics approach can enhance the robustness of genetic discoveries. Indeed, understanding the genetics of VaD and its pathophysiological risk factors hold the potential to redefine VaD based on molecular mechanisms and generate novel diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic tools.

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