Vascular dementia

Vascular dementia is the second most common neurodegenerative disease and accounts for approximately 25% of cases. Vascular dementia occurs due to nerve cell damage as a result of impaired blood supply to the brain. The most common causes are a blood clot or a hemorrhage in the brain, what is commonly referred to as a stroke. But it can also be several or repeated minor clots that cause the cognitive difficulties, so-called small vascular disease. Risk factors for cardiovascular diseases are also risk factors for vascular disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood fats, obesity and smoking. So what is harmful to the heart is also harmful to the brain. So for good brain health, you need to keep track of these risk factors.

Symptoms of vascular disease vary. Early memory loss is less common compared to patients with Alzheimer's disease. Problems with attention such as slow thinking and speech are common, as is executive function such as planning and performing actions. Since damage to the vessels of the brain affects the entire brain, there are often symptoms even in motor skills. For example, there may be difficulty walking and moving or difficulty in balance. The function often varies, under certain circumstances one can function the next just as before (in social contexts for example) to a little while later be very affected and not even know what day it is. It's almost like the "battery" runs out, but with a rest break you can recover, "charge the battery" again.

The prognosis in vascular disease is very individual. Often the deterioration can come more "relapsing", "step wise", compared to Alzheimer's disease that comes more insidious and the deterioration will also more gradually.

Johan Sundelöf, Senior Physician, Specialist in Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine
Reviewed by: Johan Sundelöf, Senior Physician, Specialist in Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine
Updated: January 22, 2021
Published: 15 December, 2020

What is dementia?How common is dementia?Diseases of the brainAlzheimer's diseaseVascular dementiaLewy body dementiaFrontotemporal dementiaParkinson's diseaseAlcohol-induced dementia and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndromeNormal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH)Rare dementia diseasesHeredity

Brain diseases

Alzheimer's disease

Vascular dementia

Lewy body dementia

Frontotemporal dementia

Parkinson's disease

Alcohol-induced dementia and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome

Normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH)

Rare dementias



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