AD is the most common of the dementias, occurring in some 60 to 70 per cent of cases. However, this oft-stated figure must be treated with some caution for two reasons. First, cases that come to postmortem represent a biased sample, and the proportion of pathologically confirmed AD in community-dwelling representative samples is unknown. Second, even at postmortem the distinction between different dementias is not clear cut—many AD brains show the presence of Lewy bodies and others have considerable evidence of vascular damage. The proportion of mixed pathologies is actually rather high, between 15 and 30 per cent of all dementias.

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