Clinical features of subcortical arteriosclerotic encephalopathy (Binswanger disease)

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Article abstract

Subcortical arteriosclerotic encephalopathy, a chronic vascular dementia with hydrocephalus, was characterized pathologically in five patients by severe thickening of small vessels and by diffuse regions of white matter loss with gliosis. Lacunar infarcts were also present. The clinical picture in 11 patients was characterized by: (1) persistent hypertension and systemic vascular disease; (2) acute strokes; (3) subacute accumulation of focal neurologic symptoms and signs over weeks to months; (4) long plateau periods; (5) lengthy clinical course; (6) dementia; (7) prominent motor signs and pseudobulbar palsy and; (8) hydrocephalus. The pathogenesis of subcortical arteriosclerotic encephalopathy is unknown; possible mechanisms include diffuse ischemia and fluid transudation with subsequent gliosis related to subacute hypertensive encephalopathy.

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