Previously known as multi-infarct or post-stroke dementia, vascular dementia is less common as a sole cause of dementia than Alzheimer’s, accounting for about 10 percent of dementia cases.
Impaired judgment or ability to make decisions, plan or organize is more likely to be the initial symptom, as opposed to the memory loss often associated with the initial symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Occurs from blood vessel blockage or damage leading to infarcts (strokes) or bleeding in the brain. The location, number and size of the brain injury determines how the individual’s thinking and physical functioning are affected.
Brain imaging can often detect blood vessel problems implicated in vascular dementia. In the past, evidence for vascular dementia was used to exclude a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (and vice versa). That practice is no longer considered consistent with pathologic evidence, which shows that the brain changes of several types of dementia can be present simultaneously. When any two or more types of dementia are present at the same time, the individual is considered to have “mixed dementia” (see entry below).
Other Types of Dementia
- Alzheimer’s disease Learn more
- Vascular dementia Learn more
- Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) Learn more
- Mixed dementia Learn more
- Parkinson’s disease Learn more
- Frontotemporal dementia Learn more
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease Learn more
- Normal pressure hydrocephalus Learn more
- Huntington’s disease Learn more
- Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome Learn more