CADASIL is an inherited (or “genetic”) disease of the small blood vessels in the brain that can lead to stroke, other injuries, especially in the deep parts of the brain, and dementia. The term “CADASIL” stands for Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Subcortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy. Although this technical name is quite cumbersome, it accurately describes the key features of the disease:
- Cerebral means that the disease has to do with the brain.
- Autosomal Dominant means the disease is genetic and inherited in a particular way.
- Arteriopathy means that there is damage to blood vessels.
- Subcortical means that the disease affects internal parts of the brain.
- Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy means strokes and other injury to the brain, particularly within a deep part of the brain called white matter.
Specializing in cognitive disorders, the Memory and Aging Program at Butler Hospital employs a comprehensive team of experts which includes neurologists, neuropsychologists, research and clinical nurses, interns and post-doctoral fellows, and research assistants. Together the team offers evaluation and diagnosis, along with compassionate care and the latest diagnostic and treatment tools to address the impact of CADASIL on patients and families.