Eisai Co. said Wednesday it has submitted an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in a bid to get approval to use one of its drugs to treat vascular dementia, a brain disorder mostly caused by strokes.

The drug, Aricept, is already approved for treating mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, the major Japanese pharmaceutical company said.

Aricept is sold in more than 60 countries, including Japan, the United States, Britain, Germany and France.

Vascular dementia is second only to Alzheimer’s disease as the most common form of dementia in most parts of the world.

The condition, which generally begins after age 70, is most commonly caused by a single, localized stroke or series of strokes and accounts for up to 20 percent of all diagnosed dementia cases in the U.S.

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