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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is vascular dementia?

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    Alzheimer’s Australia is the charity for people with dementia and their families and carers. As the peak body, it provides advocacy, support services, education and … View Profile

    Vascular dementia is the broad term for dementia associated with problems of circulation of blood to the brain. There are a number of different types of Vascular dementia. Two of the most common are Multi-infarct dementia and Binswanger's disease.

    Multi-infarct dementia
    This is the most common form of Vascular dementia. Multi-infarct dementia is caused by a number of small strokes, called mini-strokes or Transient Ischaemic Attacks (TIA). The strokes cause damage to the cortex of the brain, the area associated with learning, memory and language. Symptoms may include severe depression, mood swings and epilepsy.

    Binswanger's disease (also known as Subcortical vascular dementia)
    As with other Vascular dementias, it is associated with stroke-related changes. It is caused by high blood pressure, thickening of the arteries and inadequate blood flow. Symptoms often include slowness and lethargy, difficulty walking, emotional ups and downs and lack of bladder control early in the course of the disease. Most people with Binswanger's disease have, or have had, high blood pressure.

    One single large stroke can sometimes cause Vascular dementia depending on the size and location of the stroke.

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