Vascular Dementia

Vascular dementia, also known as multi-infarct dementia, is the second most common dementia type in older people. But there are many other conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia, including some that are reversible, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies. It happens when part of the brain doesn't get enough blood carrying the oxygen and nutrients it needs. In vascular dementia, changes in thinking skills sometimes occur suddenly following strokes that block major brain blood vessels. Thinking problems also may begin as mild changes that worsen gradually as a result of multiple minor strokes or other conditions that affect smaller blood vessels, leading to cumulative damage.

Vascular dementia symptoms can vary widely, depending on the severity of the blood vessel damage and the part of the brain affected. Memory loss may or may not be a significant symptom depending on the specific brain areas where blood flow is reduced. Symptoms may be most obvious when they happen soon after a major stroke

Factors that increase your risk of heart disease and stroke — including diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking — also raise your vascular dementia risk. Controlling these factors may help lower your chances of developing vascular dementia.

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