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Monday, December 10, 2007

Ten Points for Caregivers to Know About Vascular Dementia

"Vascular dementia is preventable; therefore early detection and an accurate diagnosis are important," according to an article at . The article is titled "Vascular Dementia" and was written by Kannayiram Aliagiakkrishnan, MD, MBBS, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine, at the University of Alberta. It explains that vascular dementia is the second most common cause of dementia, after Alzheimer's Disease. Vascular Dementia, the article explains, is "not a single disease; it is a group of syndromes."

Some of the points in the article that caregivers might like to know include the following.

(1) A stroke causes increased risk of vascular dementia.

(2) There is a wide spectrum in types of vascular dementia.

(3) Alzheimer's Dementia and cerebrovascular disease together can occur and this is "mixed dementia."

(4) The article said "one-third of patients with vascular dementia are found to have significant Alzheimer's pathology."

(5) Dementia is "nine times higher in patients who have had a stroke."

(6) People with vascular dementia frequently have changes in behavior and mood, and assessment for depression is important.

(7) Memory deficits, social and occupational functioning, and verbal difficulties are some of the characteristics of people with vascular dementia.

(8) Risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and cerebrovascular disease.

(9) A study in Rotterdam showed an increased risk of vascular dementia with a higher fat intake diet, and a lessened risk with an increase in fish in the diet.

(10) Other symptoms can be "agitation, wandering, aggression and sleep disorders."

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