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Definition of Vascular dementia

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Vascular dementia: A common form of dementia in older persons that is due to cerebrovascular disease, usually with stepwise deterioration from a series of small strokes and a patchy distribution of neurologic deficits affecting some functions and not others. Symptoms include confusion, problems with recent memory, wandering or getting lost in familiar places, loss of bladder or bowel control (incontinence), emotional problems such as laughing or crying inappropriately, difficulty following instructions, and problems handling money. The damage is typically so slight that the change is noticeable only as a series of small steps. However, over time, as more small blood vessels in the brain are blocked, there is noticeable gradual mental decline. Vascular dementia commonly begins between the ages of 60 and 75 and affects men more often than women. Also known as multi-infarct dementia. See also CADASIL.

Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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