Translational models for vascular cognitive impairment: a review including larger species

Atticus H Hainsworth* (Corresponding Author), Stuart M Allan, Johannes Boltze, Catriona Cunningham, Chad Farris, Elizabeth Head, Masafumi Ihara, Jeremy D Isaacs, Raj N Kalaria, Saskia A M J Lesnik Oberstein, Mark B Moss, Björn Nitzsche, Gary A Rosenberg, Julie W Rutten, Melita Salkovic-Petrisic, Aron M Troen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

32 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Disease models are useful for prospective studies of pathology, identification of molecular and cellular mechanisms, pre-clinical testing of interventions, and validation of clinical biomarkers. Here, we review animal models relevant to vascular cognitive impairment (VCI). A synopsis of each model was initially presented by expert practitioners. Synopses were refined by the authors, and subsequently by the scientific committee of a recent conference (International Conference on Vascular Dementia 2015). Only peer-reviewed sources were cited.

METHODS: We included models that mimic VCI-related brain lesions (white matter hypoperfusion injury, focal ischaemia, cerebral amyloid angiopathy) or reproduce VCI risk factors (old age, hypertension, hyperhomocysteinemia, high-salt/high-fat diet) or reproduce genetic causes of VCI (CADASIL-causing Notch3 mutations).

CONCLUSIONS: We concluded that (1) translational models may reflect a VCI-relevant pathological process, while not fully replicating a human disease spectrum; (2) rodent models of VCI are limited by paucity of white matter; and (3) further translational models, and improved cognitive testing instruments, are required.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16
Number of pages12
JournalBMC medicine
Issue number1
Early online date25 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Animals
  • Brain/pathology
  • Dementia, Vascular/genetics
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Risk Factors

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    Hainsworth, A. H., Allan, S. M., Boltze, J., Cunningham, C., Farris, C., Head, E., Ihara, M., Isaacs, J. D., Kalaria, R. N., Lesnik Oberstein, S. A. M. J., Moss, M. B., Nitzsche, B., Rosenberg, G. A., Rutten, J. W., Salkovic-Petrisic, M., & Troen, A. M. (2017). Translational models for vascular cognitive impairment: a review including larger species. BMC medicine , 15(1), [16].