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Is Vascular Dementia The Same As Alzheimer’s

What Are The Symptoms Of Vascular Dementia

What is the difference between Alzheimer’s & Vascular Dementia?

The symptoms of vascular dementia depend on the location and amount of brain tissue involved. Vascular dementia symptoms may appear suddenly after a stroke, or gradually over time. Symptoms may get worse after another stroke, a heart attack, or major surgery. These are signs and symptoms of vascular dementia

  • Increased trouble carrying out normal daily activities because of problems with concentration, communication, or inability to carry out instructions
  • Memory problems, although short-term memory may not be affected
  • Confusion, which may increase at night
  • Stroke symptoms, such as sudden weakness and trouble with speech
  • Personality changes
  • Mood changes, such as depression or irritability
  • Stride changes when walking too fast, shuffling steps
  • Problems with movement and/or balance
  • Urinary problems, such as urgency or incontinence
  • Tremors

Small Vessel Disease And Vascular Cognitive Impairment

Vascular dementia can also be caused by small vessel disease. This is when the small blood vessels deep within your brain become narrow and clogged up. The damage stops blood from getting to parts of your brain. The damage can build up over time and may cause signs of vascular cognitive impairment. This can eventually lead to vascular dementia.

Many of the things that increase your risk of small vessel disease, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, also increase your risk of stroke.

You can read more about how to reduce your risk of stroke and small vessel disease.

Early And Middle Stages Of Vascular Dementia

Some symptoms may be similar to those of other types of dementia. Memory loss is common in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, but is not usually the main early symptom of vascular dementia.

The most common cognitive symptoms in the early stages of vascular dementia are:

  • problems with planning or organising, making decisions or solving problems
  • difficulties following a series of steps
  • slower speed of thought
  • problems concentrating, including short periods of sudden confusion.

A person in the early stages of vascular dementia may also have difficulties with:

  • memory – problems recalling recent events
  • language – eg speech may become less fluent
  • visuospatial skills – problems perceiving objects in three dimensions.

As well as these cognitive symptoms, it is common for someone with early vascular dementia to experience mood changes, such as apathy, depression or anxiety. Depression is common, partly because people with vascular dementia may be aware of the difficulties the condition is causing. A person with vascular dementia may also become generally more emotional. They may be prone to rapid mood swings and being unusually tearful or happy.

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Treating Alzheimers Disease Vs Other Types Of Dementia

Neither Alzheimerâs nor most other types of dementia have a cure. Doctors focus treatments on managing symptoms and keeping the disease from getting worse.

Some of the treatments for dementia and Alzheimerâs overlap.

  • Cholinesterase inhibitors can help with memory loss in certain types of dementia and Alzheimerâs.
  • Glutamate inhibitors help with learning and memory in both dementia and Alzheimerâs.
  • Sleep medications may help with sleep changes.
  • Antidepressants can help with depression symptoms.
  • Antipsychotic medications may help with behavior changes.

Some types of dementia respond to treatment, depending on what is causing it. Your doctor may recommend:

  • Stopping the use of drugs and alcohol
  • Tumor removal

Warning Signs And Symptoms

What is Vascular Dementia??

The symptoms of dementia range in severity, and they also vary depending on the area of the brain that the condition affects. The most

  • walking around for no apparent reason
  • inappropriate behaviors, such as social and sexual disinhibition

Symptoms can take time to appear, and significant damage may be present before a person visits a doctor. This may make treatment more challenging.

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Difference Between Alzheimers & Vascular Dementia

Alzheimers disease happens when neurons in the brain begin to die due to clumps of sticky proteins. Vascular dementia, on the other hand, is from impaired blood flow. The diseases also attack different parts of the brain. Alzheimers affects the grey matter while vascular dementia affects the white matter. Vascular dementia is more likely to affect movement in the earlier stages than Alzheimers.

How Is Vascular Dementia Diagnosed

In addition to a complete medical history and physical exam, your healthcare provider may order some of the following:

  • Computed tomography . This imaging test uses X-rays and a computer to make horizontal, or axial images of the brain. CT scans are more detailed than general X-rays.
  • FDG-PET scan. This is a PET scan of the brain that uses a special tracer to light up regions of the brain.
  • Electroencephalogram . This test measures electrical activity in the brain
  • Magnetic resonance imaging . This test uses large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to make detailed images of the brain.
  • Neuropsychological assessments. These tests can help sort out vascular dementia from other types of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
  • Neuropsychiatric evaluation. This may be done to rule out a psychiatric condition that may resemble dementia.

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Vascular Dementia And Vascular Cognitive Impairment: A Resource List

Vascular dementia, a most common form of dementia in older adults, and vascular cognitive impairment result from injuries to vessels that supply blood to the brain, often after a stroke or series of strokes. The symptoms of vascular dementia can be similar to those of Alzheimers, and both conditions can occur at the same time . Symptoms of vascular dementia and VCI can begin suddenly and worsen or improve over time.

Caregivers of people with vascular dementia or VCI face a variety of challenges. Learning more about these disorders can help. This resource list is a place to start. All resources on this list are available free online.

The items on this list are in three categories:

The Dementias: Hope Through Research

This booklet from the National Institute on Aging and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke describes different kinds of dementia, including vascular dementia. It discusses brain changes, symptoms, and treatments for many dementias, as well as risk factors and diagnosis for dementia generally. It also summarizes dementia research supported by the National Institutes of Health. The booklet includes a glossary and list of resources.

Vascular Cognitive Impairment

Vascular Dementia

Vascular Dementia

Vascular Dementia: What Is It, and What Causes It?

Available from the Alzheimers Society, London.

How Is Vascular Dementia Treated

What is vascular dementia?

Vascular dementia can’t be cured. The main goal is to treat the underlying conditions that affect the blood flow to the brain. This can help cut the risk of further damage to brain tissue.

Such treatments may include:

  • Medicines to manage blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, diabetes, and problems with blood clotting
  • Lifestyle changes, such as following a healthy diet, getting physical activity, quitting smoking, and quitting or decreasing alcohol consumption
  • Procedures to improve blood flow to the brain, such as carotid endarterectomy, angioplasty, and stenting the carotid arteries are located in the neck and provide blood flow from the heart to the brain
  • Medicines, such as cholinesterase inhibitors to treat the symptoms of dementia or antidepressants to help with depression or other symptoms

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What Kind Of Treatment Is Available

Most people living with mixed dementia are diagnosed with just a single type of dementia. Therefore, a physician might base the choice of medication on the type of dementia that has been diagnosed.

Currently, there arent any pharmaceutical drugs available that are specifically targeted to treating mixed dementia. In situations where the physician considers Alzheimers disease to be among the conditions contributing to a persons dementia symptoms, they may prescribe the medications intended for Alzheimers disease treatment.

Gpr39 Localization In The Aging Human Brain And Correlation Of Expression And Polymorphism With Vascular Cognitive Impairment

Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA

Knight Cardiovascular Institute, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA

Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA

Department of Pathology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA

Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA

Knight Cardiovascular Institute, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA


Nabil J. Alkayed, Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine, The Knight Cardiovascular Institute, Oregon Health & Science University, 3181 S.W. Sam Jackson Pk. Rd., UHN-2 Portland, OR 97239-3098, USA.

Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA

Knight Cardiovascular Institute, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA

Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA

Department of Pathology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA

Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA

Knight Cardiovascular Institute, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA


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What Is The Difference Between Dementia And Vascular Dementia

Vascular dementia is simply one type of dementia. The term dementia actually refers to several progressive brain diseases and is used as an umbrella term. The most common types of dementia are Alzheimers disease, Parkinsons disease, and vascular dementia. Vascular dementia is caused when individuals suffer from impaired blood flow. This type of dementia is more common among those who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes.

Myth #: Memory Loss Automatically Means Its Dementia

What is the difference between Alzheimer

Many people worry when their memories begin to slide as they age, and for a good reason. The idea of getting Alzheimers or Dementia isnt a comforting thought. However, its critical to remember that not all memory loss is a direct symptom of Alzheimers and Dementia.

If youre experiencing memory loss thats severely impacting your daily life for example, are you unable to remember your neighbour of 25 years first name? Are you regularly losing your car keys and finding them in strange places, like the refrigerator? If so, such signs of memory loss can be symptoms of Alzheimers or another type of Dementia, and you should speak with your doctor immediately.

Its difficult to say what constitutes ordinary memory loss and when its okay because you can never really know unless you talk to a professional. The best and most simple piece of advice is if your forgetfulness is causing you or others concern, book an appointment with a doctor.

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Stage : Age Associated Memory Impairment

This stage features occasional lapses of memory most frequently seen in:

  • Forgetting where one has placed an object
  • Forgetting names that were once very familiar

Oftentimes, this mild decline in memory is merely normal age-related cognitive decline, but it can also be one of the earliest signs of degenerative dementia. At this stage, signs are still virtually undetectable through clinical testing. Concern for early onset of dementia should arise with respect to other symptoms.

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

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Stage : Moderately Severe Dementia

When the patient begins to forget the names of their children, spouse, or primary caregivers, they are most likely entering stage 6 of dementia and will need full time care. In the sixth stage, patients are generally unaware of their surroundings, cannot recall recent events, and have skewed memories of their personal past. Caregivers and loved ones should watch for:

  • Delusional behavior

Immunohistochemical Localization And Expression Of Gpr39 In The Young And Aged Human Dlpfc

Wednesday Workshop â What is Vascular Dementia?

We first assessed whether GPR39 protein is expressed in the dlPFC of the human brain, its cellular localization and distribution, and whether expression levels are altered in aging and in individuals with VCI. We found that GPR39 is robustly expressed throughout the dlPFC. We observe a non-significant trend for increased GPR39 in the aged dlPFC, with overall density of GPR39 immunoreactivity being similar in aged control and VCI, both in gray and white matter . In terms of distribution, we observed two populations of GPR39-positive cells, one in close proximity to blood vessels, and the other within the tissue parenchyma.


We then determined if GPR39 SNPs are specifically linked to WMH burden, which we previously demonstrated to be higher in VCI. We found that carriers of the homozygous SNPs, which are only present in the MCI group, had significantly higher WMH volume compared to either WT or heterozygous SNP carriers . WMH volume was 15.87 ± 2.59 mL and 11.90 ± 2.91 mL in WT and heterozygous SNP carriers, respectively, compared to 38.03 ± 13.46 mL in the homozygous SNP carriers .

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The Difference Between Parkinsons & Vascular Dementia

The biggest difference between vascular dementia and Parkinsons disease is that Parkinsons doesnt always lead to dementia. Parkinsons affects mobility, similar to vascular dementia, and both are brain disorders that may stem from vascular problems. Parkinsons disease may also affect memory like vascular dementia but not in every case.

Vascular dementia symptoms include memory loss, reduced ability to organize thoughts or actions, confusion and trouble concentrating, trouble paying attention.

Parkinsons disease symptoms include slowed movement, muscle rigidity, shuffled walking, quiet speech, issues with swallowing.

During the end-stage of all types of dementia, the symptoms tend to be the same across the board.

What Other Things Help

In addition to medications, there are various ways to help a person with vascular dementia. Research has shown that physical exercise and maintaining a healthy weight help to enhance brain health and reduce the risk of heart problems, stroke and other diseases that affect blood vessels. A balanced diet, enough sleep and limited alcohol intake are other important ways to promote good brain health and reduce the risk for heart disease. Other illnesses that affect the brain, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, should also be treated if present.

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The Effects Of Alzheimers On The Brain

Damage to the brain begins years before symptoms appear. Abnormal protein deposits form plaques and tangles in the brain of someone with Alzheimers disease. Connections between cells are lost, and they begin to die. In advanced cases, the brain shows significant shrinkage.

Its impossible to diagnose Alzheimers with complete accuracy while a person is alive. The diagnosis can only be confirmed when the brain is examined under a microscope during an autopsy. However, specialists are able to make the correct diagnosis up to 90 percent of the time.

The symptoms of Alzheimers and dementia can overlap, but there can be some differences.

Both conditions can cause:

  • behavioral changes
  • difficulty speaking, swallowing, or walking in advanced stages of the disease

Some types of dementia will share some of these symptoms, but they include or exclude other symptoms that can help make a differential diagnosis. Lewy body dementia , for example, has many of the same later symptoms as Alzheimers. However, people with LBD but are more likely to experience initial symptoms such as visual hallucinations, difficulties with balance, and sleep disturbances.

People with dementia due to Parkinsons or Huntingtons disease are more likely to experience involuntary movement in the early stages of the disease.

Treatment for dementia will depend on the exact cause and type of dementia, but many treatments for dementia and Alzheimers will overlap.

Treatments For Vascular Dementia

What is Vascular Dementia and how does it differ from ...

There’s currently no cure for vascular dementia and there’s no way to reverse any loss of brain cells that happened before the condition was diagnosed.

But treatment can sometimes help slow down vascular dementia.

Treatment aims to tackle the underlying cause, which may reduce the speed at which brain cells are lost.

This will often involve:

Other treatments, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, dementia activities and psychological therapies, can help reduce the impact of any existing problems.

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Vascular Dementia Treatment And Life Expectancy

There is no cure for vascular dementia, but the earlier its diagnosed, the better chance there is of reducing the impact and severity of symptoms.

Lifestyle changesThe goal of vascular dementia treatment is to improve the conditions that may be causing it.

Lifestyle changes can help prevent further damage and slow the progression of symptoms.

Your older adults doctor will help create a plan to lower high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Theyll also encourage a healthier diet and regular exercise to prevent clogged arteries, heart attack, and stroke.

Stopping smoking, reducing the use of alcohol, and keeping diabetes well-controlled also reduces damage from vascular problems.

Drugs to treat vascular dementiaThere arent any FDA-approved drugs that treat symptoms of vascular dementia.

But certain drugs approved to treat Alzheimers may help to boost memory and cognitive abilities.

Life expectancyLike other types of dementia, vascular dementia shortens life span. But catching it early and preventing further damage is the best treatment.

If the conditions that cause vascular dementia arent treated, the outcome isnt good.

Vascular dementia disease progression isnt always visible. Someone may seem fine without treatmentuntil another stroke takes away more brain function.

Without treatment, vascular dementia usually causes death from stroke, heart disease, or infection.


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