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Do Mini Strokes Cause Dementia

Cell Models Of Stroke

Dementia and Speech Therapy After Mini Stroke

Various cell culture models have been developed to understand the underlying mechanistic features of cerebral ischemia. Primary neuronal and glial cultures from cortex, hippocampus, cerebellum, and hypothalamus of embryo or perinatal rats and mice have been used widely to study anoxic or ischemic damage. The overall objective of in vitro research on ischemia was to understand the changes specific to each cell population and how they are similar in vivo. These cell models aid the progress and testing of potential therapeutic agents designed to prevent and/or counteract specific steps in the ischemic cascade of neurodegeneration .

Using cell culture model, Allen et al. conducted research to explore the function of small GTPase RhoA and its effector Rho kinase in permeability changes mediated by OGD. They concluded that OGD concessions the structural and functional capacities of an in vitro model of human cerebral barrier through activation of RhoA/Rho kinase pathway.

A research group from Canada attempted to study the effect of neutrophils on the increase in BBB permeability associated with ischemic reperfusion injury in vitro . Human brain endothelial cell line hCMEC/D3 was exposed to OGD with reoxygenation, and permeability was measured for a range of OGD exposure times . This study found that OGD induces reversible increases in permeability linked to nitric oxide synthesis in a human culture model of the BBB and shows that neutrophils mitigate permeability increases .

Vascular Dementia Signs And Symptoms

Vascular dementia affects different people in different ways and the speed of the progression also varies from person to person. Some symptoms may be similar to those of other types of dementia and usually reflect increasing difficulty to perform everyday activities like eating, dressing, or shopping.

Behavioral and physical symptoms can come on dramatically or very gradually, although it appears that a prolonged period of TIAsthe mini-strokes discussed aboveleads to a gradual decline in memory, whereas a bigger stroke can produce profound symptoms immediately. Regardless of the rate of appearance, vascular dementia typically progresses in a stepwise fashion, where lapses in memory and reasoning abilities are followed by periods of stability, only to give way to further decline.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Vascular Dementia
Mental and Emotional Signs and Symptoms
  • Slowed thinking
  • Language problems, such as difficulty finding the right words for things
  • Getting lost in familiar surroundings
  • Laughing or crying inappropriately
  • Difficulty planning, organizing, or following instructions
  • Difficulty doing things that used to come easily
  • Reduced ability to function in daily life

Fca Fact And Tip Sheets

A listing of all FCA fact and tip sheets is available online at

The National Stroke Association provides education, information and referral, and research on stroke for families, health care professionals, and others interested in or affected by stroke.

American Stroke AssociationThe American Stroke Association offers information and sponsors programs and support groups throughout the nation for stroke survivors and family members.

American Heart AssociationThe American Heart Association provides public health education to community members, healthcare professionals, and to lawmakers and policymakers.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokewww.ninds.nih.govThe National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke supports and performs basic, translational, and clinical neuroscience research through grants-in-aid, contracts, scientific meetings, and through research in its own laboratories, and clinics.

Family Caregiver Alliance®

101 Montgomery Street | Suite 2150 | San Francisco, CA 94104

800.445.8106 toll-free | 415.434.3388 local

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Tia Stroke Symptoms And Causes

During a mini stroke, the blood supply to the brain is briefly blocked. Its basically a stroke that only lasts for a few minutes.

Symptoms of a TIA are like typical stroke symptoms, but dont last as long. Most symptoms disappear within an hour, but could last for up to 24 hours.

You wont be able to tell if these symptoms are from a TIA or a major stroke, so if your older adult has these symptoms, immediately call 911 or go to the emergency room.

Symptoms happen suddenly and include:

  • Numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body
  • Confusion, trouble speaking, difficulty understanding speech
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Difficulty walking
  • Problems with balance or coordination
  • An abnormal sense of taste or smell

A TIA is usually caused by low blood flow at a narrow part of a major artery that carries blood to the brain, like the carotid artery.

It could also be caused by a blood clot that travels to the brain and blocks a blood vessel there.

A third common cause is the narrowing of smaller blood vessels in the brain. That blocks blood flow for a short period of time often caused by plaque build-up.

Can Having A Stroke Increase Your Risk For Vascular Dementia

Slow and insidious mini strokes cause vascular dementia ...

Vascular dementia can make it difficult for you to process information. Although its a common post-stroke problem, not everyone who has a stroke is at risk for vascular dementia. Your risk depends on the location and severity of your stroke. Your age, sex, and family history are also factors.

In a 2012 study, one researcher reviewed nine studies on dementia in people whove had a stroke. In total, the study looked at 5,514 people with pre- or post-stroke dementia. The study found that rates of post-stroke dementia were between 9.6 and 14.4 percent in people whove had one stroke. This rate increased to 29.6 to 53.1 percent in people with recurrent stroke.

Its worth noting that adults over age 65 who have a high risk of stroke also have a high risk of dementia unrelated to stroke. In the same 2012 study, it was determined that stroke is a risk factor for dementia, and dementia is a risk factor for stroke.

Rates from 9 studies show that about 10 percent of people whove had a stroke will develop dementia within the first year after the stroke.

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What Is The Medical Treatment For Stroke

Drug therapy

Drug therapies in vascular dementia include those that prevent clotting and treat underlying vascular risk factors to prevent further progression of dementia. Drug therapies may also treat associated symptoms like depression.

  • Antiplatelet agents: These are medications that inhibit blood clotting by altering platelet function and aggregation. Platelet inhibition is a mild form of blood thinning. These agents help prevent recurrent stroke.
  • Antihypertensive agents: These drugs reduce blood pressure and thus help prevent strokes.
  • Other agents may be given to treat additional risk factors for stroke .
  • Antidepressant agents: Severe depression is a very common mood disorder in vascular dementia and may contribute to cognitive decline. Treating the depression with medication may not only relieve the depression but also improve mental functioning.

If you take medications for other medical conditions, your health care provider may adjust or change these medications. Some drugs can worsen dementia symptoms.

Nondrug therapy

Symptoms such as social inappropriateness and aggression may improve with various behavior-changing interventions. Some interventions focus on helping the individual adjust or control his or her behavior. Others focus on helping caregivers and other family members change the person’s behavior. These approaches sometimes work better when combined with drug treatment.


Treat Tia Like A Stroke

TIA symptoms also mirror those of stroke. They include

  • sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or legespecially on one side of the body

  • trouble speaking or understanding

  • difficulty seeing in one or both eyes

  • loss of balance or coordination.

When you’re in the midst of these symptoms, it’s impossible to know whether you’re having a TIA or a stroke, so always assume it’s the real thing. “If you’re having stroke symptoms, you should act on them immediately. Do not wait to see if they’ll go away,” Dr. Rost says.

Don’t delay getting to the hospital. Even your medical team at first may not be sure whether you’re having a stroke or a TIA, so they may treat you the samewith a clot-dissolving drug, if appropriate. If it is a stroke caused by a clot, you need to get medicine within the first three hours after your symptoms start for it to be effective. After that window closes, your treatment options become much more limited.

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What Is A Silent Stroke

During a typical ischemic stroke, a clot blocks a blood vessel that feeds part of the brain. Without blood, cells in that area malfunction and may die, causing symptoms such as numbness or weakness on one side of your face, trouble speaking, difficulty walking, or vision problems, which reflect the functions that were controlled by the affected part of the brain.

During a silent stroke, an interruption in blood flow destroys areas of cells in a part of the brain that is “silent,” meaning that it doesn’t control any vital functions. Although the damage will show up on an MRI or CT scan, it’s too small to produce any obvious symptoms. “A blood vessel can get blocked off, the tissue supplied by that vessel can die, but the person doesn’t experience symptoms so they don’t know they’ve had a stroke,” explains Karen Furie, associate professor at Harvard Medical School and director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Stroke Service.

Most people who’ve had a silent stroke have no idea it occurred. “That doesn’t mean it’s insignificant, though,” Dr. Furie says. Silent strokes can cause subtle signs, such as cognitive impairment, she adds.

What Is Vascular Dementia

Vascular Dementia Pathology, Animation

If you are worried about vascular dementia or know someone who is, this guide can help you understand what you need to do. It explains what vascular dementia is and how it is linked to stroke. It also explains what you can do if you or someone you know is diagnosed with vascular dementia.

Its aimed at people who’ve had a stroke or who think they may have vascular dementia, but there is information for family and friends as well. If you have a question that is not answered in this guide call our Stroke Helpline.

The information on this page can be accessed in the following formats:

  • as a pdf or large print Word document.
  • To request a braille copy, email .

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What Causes Vascular Dementia

Vascular dementia is caused by different conditions that interrupt the flow of blood and oxygen supply to the brain and damage blood vessels in the brain.

People with vascular dementia almost always have abnormalities in the brain that can be seen on MRI scans. These abnormalities can include evidence of prior strokes, which are often small and sometimes without noticeable symptoms. Major strokes can also increase the risk for dementia, but not everyone who has had a stroke will develop dementia.

Other abnormalities commonly found in the brains of people with vascular dementia are diseased small blood vessels and changes in “white matter” the connecting “wires” of the brain that are critical for relaying messages between brain regions.

Mini Stroke Symptoms In The Elderly: Causes And Treatments

A mini-stroke is also referred to as transient ischemic attack, abbreviated as TIA. A mini-stroke occurs when the supply of blood to the brain drops temporarily. When you are aware of the mini-stroke symptoms in the elderly, you will be better placed to get them to help urgently and possibly save their lives.

There are different conditions and events that can cause oxygen deprivation in the brain. The symptoms of TIA or mini-stroke are very much similar to those of full-blown stroke, even though they dont last that long. Left side stroke indicates the side of the brain that has been affected and can know exactly where to start.

In the United States alone, half a million people experience a stroke every year. The symptoms that associate with TIA tends to fade very fast and so very many people do not seek any help once it happens. Around ten percent of people who suffer from mini-stroke suffer from a full stroke in three months.

This only shows how important it is to seek help as soon as you notice some of the signs that are associated with stroke. Getting to a hospital early could mean the difference between life and death.

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Symptoms And Disease Course

Symptoms differ depending on what part and how much of the brain is affected, and can overlap with those of other types of dementia. Symptoms are likely to be more gradual and less dramatic in multi-infarct than in post-stroke dementia. For example, in multi-infarct dementia a gradual decline in some aspects of speech and language may be noticed, whereas immediately following a stroke there can be a sudden change in speech.

Vascular dementia does generally progress, but the speed and pattern of cognitive decline, motor skills slowing, and mood changes can vary. Some individuals may experience memory loss, whereas others may exhibit changes primarily in mood and behavior.

Like all dementias, individuals in later stages will show overall cognitive changes and will depend on others for care. Symptoms common in both post-stroke and multi-infarct type dementia can include:

  • confusion and difficulty problem-solving
  • changes in mood including loss of interest in regular activities
  • trouble finding the right word
  • motor symptoms including clumsiness and slow or unsteady gait disturbance.

Family caregivers may find it difficult to know how to provide help when symptoms are so variable. Getting a definitive diagnosis will make it easier to provide care now and in the future.

Are There Support Groups And Counseling For Stroke

What You Need to Know About Dementia

If you have vascular dementia, you know how difficult this can be. It affects every aspect of your life, including family relationships, work, financial status, social life, and physical and mental health. You feel the frustration of being disabled and dependent. You may feel angry, resentful, or hopeless.

Caregivers have similar feelings of frustration. If you are a caregiver, you may feel unable to cope with the demands of caring for a dependent, difficult relative. Besides the sadness of seeing the effects of your loved one’s disease, you may feel overwhelmed, resentful, and angry. These feelings may in turn leave you feeling guilty, ashamed, and anxious. Depression is not uncommon, but it usually gets better with treatment.

Caregivers have different thresholds for tolerating these challenges. For many caregivers, just venting or talking about the frustrations of caregiving can be enormously helpful. Others need more but may feel uneasy about asking for the help they need. One thing is certain, though: if you, as a caregiver, are given no relief, you can burn out, develop your own mental and physical problems, and become unable to care for the person with dementia.

Support groups meet in person, on the telephone, or on the Internet. To find a support group that works for you, contact the following organizations. You can ask your health care provider, or go on the Internet. If you do not have access to the Internet, go to the public library.

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Is There Treatment Available

While no treatment can reverse damage that has already been done, treatment to prevent additional strokes is very important. To prevent strokes, medicines to control high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes can be prescribed. A healthy diet, exercise and avoidance of smoking and excessive alcohol also lessen the risk of further strokes. Sometimes aspirin or other drugs are prescribed to prevent clots from forming in the small blood vessels.

Drugs can also be prescribed to relieve restlessness or depression or to help the person with dementia to sleep better. In some cases surgery known as carotid endarterectomy may be recommended to remove blockage in the carotid artery, the main blood vessel to the brain. Recent research suggests that cholinesterase inhibitor medications such as Donepezil and Galantamine , which are helpful for some people with Alzheimer’s disease, may also be of some benefit to some people with Vascular dementia. However, the evidence is not yet as clear or compelling as that for the use of these medications with Alzheimer’s disease.

Support is available for the person with Vascular dementia, their families and carers. This support can make a positive difference to managing the condition. Dementia Australia provides support, information, education and counselling for people affected by dementia. Up-to-date information about drug treatments is also available from Dementia Australia.

What Are The Signs Of A Mini Stroke

It is important to know the signs of a mini stroke, so that one can seek immediate medical help. The mini stroke symptoms depend on the part of brain that is affected. This causes temporary loss of voice control, vertigo, double vision, speech difficulty, inability to write or use hands, etc. Some of the common signs of mini stroke are as follows

  • Sudden, severe headache without any reason
  • Sudden difficulty in walking, loss of balance, coordination and feeling of dizziness
  • A person may develop vision problems in one or both eyes
  • The person becomes confused and has trouble in speaking or understanding things
  • Numbness or weakness in the face, arms or legs mostly on one side of the body

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Lifestyle Changes To Improve Vascular Dementia Symptoms

A diagnosis of dementia is scary. But its important to remember that many people with dementia can lead healthy, fulfilling lives for years after the diagnosis. Dont give up on life! As much as possible, continue to look after your physical and emotional health, do the things you love to do, and spend time with family and friends.

The same strategies used to keep your brain healthy as you age and prevent the onset of dementia can also be used to improve symptoms.

Find new ways to get moving. Research suggests that even a leisurely 30-minute walk every day may reduce the risk of vascular dementia and help slow its progression. Regular exercise can also help control your weight, relieve stress, and boost your overall health and happiness.

Create a network of support. Seeking help and encouragement from friends, family, health care experts, and support groups can improve your outlook and your health. And its never to late to make new friends and expand your network.

Eat for heart health. Heart disease and stroke share many of the same risk factors, such as high LDL cholesterol , low HDL cholesterol , and high blood pressure. Adopting a heart-healthy diet may help to improve or slow down your dementia symptoms.

Make it a point to have more fun.Laughing, playing, and enjoying yourself are great ways to reduce stress and worry. Joy can energize you and inspire lifestyle changes that may prevent further strokes and compensate for memory and cognitive losses.


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