is the progressive loss of memory and various other mental functions, including the ability to learn, reason, and judge. In vascular dementia, impaired blood flow to the brain cause damage that results in dementia. Often, vascular dementia can occur in conjunction with other forms of dementia, such as
Vascular dementia can be the result of a major
(called post-stroke dementia) or a series of very small strokes (previously called multi-infarct dementia). In post-stroke dementia, the symptoms appear soon after the stroke. In multiple-infarct dementia, the symptoms gradually worsen over time.
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition. The following factors may increase your risk of vascular dementia:
Symptoms of vascular dementia may appear suddenly, or over time. Symptoms may include:
Confusion, which may worsen at night
Difficulty concentrating, planning, or following instructions
Difficulty carrying out daily activities
Symptoms of a stroke—These may include sudden weakness, difficulty speaking, and confusion. Call for emergency medical care if you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of a stroke.
Brain abnormalities seen on imaging studies
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. Other tests may include:
CT scan—a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of structures inside the body
MRI scan—a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of structures inside the body
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include:
There are no medications currently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to treat vascular dementia. But depending on your symptoms, certain medications, such as nimodipine, methylphenidate, and donepezil (eg Aricept), may be beneficial in treating some symptoms of vascular dementia.
There is evidence that engaging in behavioral treatments (eg, increased pleasurable events, problem-solving exercises) may help reduce certain symptoms of vascular dementia.
Steps you can take to help prevent vascular dementia include:
Do not drink excessively.
If you smoke, quit.
Control high blood pressure.
Control cholesterol problems.
Treat heart disease.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Exercise regularly, based on your doctor’s recommendations.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a