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Definition of Binswanger disease

Binswanger disease: A form of dementia with blood vessel abnormalities in the deep white-matter of the brain causing loss of memory, decreasing cognition, and mood changes. Patients usually show signs of abnormal blood pressure (too high or too low), stroke, blood abnormalities, disease of the large blood vessels in the neck, and disease of the heart valves. Other prominent features of the disease include urinary incontinence, difficulty walking, tremors similar to Parkinson's disease, and depression. Seizures may also occur.

These signs and symptoms tend to begin after the age of 60, are not always present and may appear only in passing.

There is no specific treatment for Binswanger disease. Treatment is symptomatic, often involving the use of medications to control high blood pressure, depression, heart arrhythmias and low blood pressure.

Binswanger disease is a slowly progressive condition. There is currently no cure. The disorder is often marked by strokes and partial recovery. Patients with this disorder usually die within 5 years of its onset.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=9684
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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