Multi-Infarct Dementia

Approximatly 10% of all
people over the age of 65
and as many as 50% of those over the age
of 85 are diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease

Multi-infarct dementia (MID), also known as vascular dementia, generally affects people between the ages of 60 and 75, and affects more men than women. MID is often a result of a series of small strokes, called ministrokes or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs). MID occurs when blood clots block small blood vessels in the brain and destroy brain tissue. The damage is usually gradual and effects are not immediately noticeable.

The most important risk factor for multi-infarct dementia is high blood pressure. It is rare for a person without high blood pressure to develop multi-infarct dementia.

Multi-Infarct Dementia: Symptoms

Symptoms of MID tend to surface gradually and may not be immediately noticeable. They include:

  • Confusion and memory problems
  • Slurred speech
  • Language problems
  • Abnormal behavior
  • Lack of concentration
  • Wandering or getting lost in familiar surroundings
  • Moving with rapid, shuffling steps
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control (incontinence)
  • Laughing or crying inappropriately
  • Difficulty following instructions
  • Problems handling money

Multi-Infarct Dementia: Diagnosis

Multi-infarct dementia is usually diagnosed through a neurological exam and a brain scan (CT scan), MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or PET scan.

Multi-Infarct Dementia: Treatment

Treatment focuses on preventing future strokes and subsequent additional brain damage. People who suffer from vascular dementia often have a history of stroke or transient ischemic attacks, and suffer from hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes. Since these are conditions that can often be avoided, patients are advised to control their blood pressure through proper nutrition, exercise, and/or medication.

Multi-Infarct Dementia: Resources

Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center
PO Box 8250
Silver Spring, MD 20907-8250
Tel: 800-438-4380
Fax: 301-495-3334

Alzheimer’s Disease International
64 Great Suffolk Street
Tel: +44 20 79810880
Fax: +44 20 79282357

Alzheimer Europe
145, route de Thionville; L-2611 Luxembourg
Tel.: +352-29 79 70
Fax: +352-29 79 72

Alzheimer’s Association National Office
225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17
Chicago, IL 60601
24/7 Nationwide Contact Center: 1.800.272.3900

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America
322 Eighth Avenue
6th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Tel: 866-AFA-8484 (232-8484)
Fax: 646-638-1546

American Health Assistance Foundation
22512 Gateway Center Drive
Clarksburg, Maryland 20871
Tel: 800-437-2423 or (301) 948-3244
Fax: (301) 258-9454

Alzheimer Solutions
3122 Knorr Street
Philadelphia, PA. 19149
Tel: 215-624-2098

Association for Frontotemporal Dementias (AFTD)
100 North 17th Street
Suite 600
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Tel: 267-514-7221 or 866-507-7222

Hydrocephalus Association
870 Market Street
Suite 705
San Francisco, CA 94102
Tel: 415-732-7040 or 888-598-3789

Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation
57 West 57th Street, Suite 904
New York, NY 10019
Tel: 212-901-8000

International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus
Cellebroersstraat 16
B-1000 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0)2 502 0413
Fax: +32 (0)2 502 1129

The Lewy Body Dementia Association, Inc.
912 Killian Hill Road, S.W.
Lilburn, GA 30047
Tel: 404-935-6444
Fax: 480-422-5434

National Family Caregivers Association
10400 Connecticut Avenue
Suite 500
Kensington, MD 20895-3944
Tel: 301-942-6430 or 800-896-3650
Fax: 301-942-2302

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
National Institutes of Health, DHHS
6001 Executive Blvd. Rm. 8184, MSC 9663
Bethesda, MD 20892-9663
Tel: 301-443-4513/301-443-8431 (TTY) 866-615-NIMH (-6464)
Fax: 301-443-4279

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