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
Alzheimer’s Association National Office
225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17
Chicago, IL 60601
24/7 Nationwide Contact Center: 1.800.272.3900
American Health Assistance Foundation
22512 Gateway Center Drive
Clarksburg, Maryland 20871
Tel: 800-437-2423 or (301) 948-3244
Fax: (301) 258-9454
870 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Tel: 415-732-7040 or 888-598-3789
International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus
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
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)