A review of transcranial magnetic stimulation in vascular dementia

Giovanni Pennisi, Raffaele Ferri, Mariagiovanna Cantone, Giuseppe Lanza, Manuela Pennisi, Luisa Vinciguerra, Giulia Malaguarnera, Rita Bella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Vascular dementia (VaD) is a clinical syndrome that encompasses a wide spectrum of cognitive disorders caused by cerebrovascular disease. The subcortical ischemic form of VaD is clinically homogeneous and a major cause of cognitive impairment in the elderly. Vascular lesions contribute to cognitive decline in neurodegenerative dementias, and VaD and Alzheimer's disease often coexist and share clinical features and multiple neurotransmission involvement. These similarities have led several investigators to use transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to enucleate a neurophysiological profile of VaD. TMS studies have identified a pattern of cortical hyperexcitability probably related to the disruption of the integrity of white matter lesions due to cerebrovascular disease. The present review provides a perspective of these TMS techniques by further understanding the role of different neurotransmission pathways and plastic remodeling of neuronal networks in the pathogenesis of VaD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-80
Number of pages10
JournalDementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • Vascular dementia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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