Vascular dementia: A historical background
The history of vascular dementia can be traced back to cases of dementia postapoplexy described by Thomas Willis in 1672. During most of the 18th and early 19th century, "brain congestion" (due in all likelihood to the effects of untreated hypertension) was the most frequent diagnosis for conditions ranging from stroke to anxiety and to cognitive decline, and bloodletting became the commonplace therapy. The modern history of vascular dementia began in 1894 with the contributions of Otto Binswanger and Alois Alzheimer, who separated vascular dementia from dementia paralytica caused by neurosyphilis. In the 1960s, the seminal neuropathological and clinical studies of the New Castle school in England inaugurated the modern era of vascular dementia.