Dementia is a serious neurological disorder that affects the elderly. ]]>MedlinePlus, a service of the U.S. National Library and the National Institutes of Health]]>, points out that dementia rarely occurs in people under the age of 60. Dementia affects multiple functions, such as memory, judgment, language and thinking. The disorder can also affect a patient's personality. Dementia becomes progressively worse over time. For example, the memory problems from the disorder can progress to a point in which the patient cannot recognize her family anymore.
One type of dementia is vascular dementia, which the ]]>MayoClinic.com]]> notes affects one to four percent of people ages 65 and over. Vascular dementia has two common causes. The first is a blockage of the blood vessels in the patient's brain, a condition that can cause a stroke. Vascular dementia can also result from a narrowing of the blood vessels. The narrower blood vessels do not allow enough oxygen to reach the brain. A brain hemorrhage that results in brain damage or very low blood pressure can also cause vascular dementia. The ]]>MayoClinic.com]]> explains that patients with temporal arteritis or lupus erythematosus may have blood vessel damage, which can result in vascular dementia.
Vascular dementia can cause symptoms other than memory and thinking problems. For example, the ]]>MayoClinic.com notes that patients can have an unsteady gait and night wandering. Patients can become agitated or depressed. Urinary problems can develop, such as urinary urgency, urinary frequency and urinary incontinence.]]>
A new study conducted at the Mayo Clinic and the University of California, San Francisco, notes that vascular disease can cause dementia in some diabetes patients.