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Related Dementias

Vascular Dementia and Vascular Cognitive Impairment: A Resource List

Vascular dementia, a most common form of dementia in older adults, and vascular cognitive impairment (VCI) result from injuries to vessels that supply blood to the brain, often after a stroke or series of strokes. The symptoms of vascular dementia can be similar to those of Alzheimer’s, and both conditions can occur at the same time (a condition called “mixed dementia”). Symptoms of vascular dementia and VCI can begin suddenly and worsen or improve over time.

Caregivers of people with vascular dementia or VCI face a variety of challenges. Learning more about these disorders can help. This resource list is a place to start. All resources on this list are available free online.

The items on this list are in three categories:

Vascular Dementia and Vascular Cognitive Impairment

The Dementias: Hope Through Research (2017)

This booklet from the National Institute on Aging and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke describes different kinds of dementia, including vascular dementia. It discusses brain changes, symptoms, and treatments for many dementias, as well as risk factors and diagnosis for dementia generally. It also summarizes dementia research supported by the National Institutes of Health. The booklet includes a glossary and list of resources.

Published by the National Institutes of Health. Available from the NIA Alzheimer’s and related Dementias Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center. Phone: 1-800-438-4380. Email: adear@nia.nih.gov.

Vascular Cognitive Impairment

This article on memory disorders notes the varied definitions of vascular cognitive impairment (VCI). It describes symptoms, including problems with memory and executive function. The article also gives information about diagnostic tests and treatments, as well as lifestyle changes that may reduce the risk of VCI.

Published by the Memory Disorders Center at the University of Cincinnati.

Vascular Dementia

In this article, vascular dementia is defined as a decline in thinking skills caused by a major stroke or multiple minor strokes. The fact sheet notes that vascular brain changes often coexist with changes linked to other types of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. The fact sheet lists symptoms, such as confusion and trouble speaking, and discusses diagnosis, causes, risks, treatment, and outcomes.

Published by the Alzheimer's Association.

Vascular Dementia (2018)

According to this article, factors that increase risk for heart disease and stroke also increase vascular dementia risk. It addresses symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment, and risk factors, as well as steps to reduce risk. Coping mechanisms for patients and caregivers are also covered.

Published by MayoClinic.com.

Vascular Dementia (2018)

This article discusses vascular dementia as a common after-stroke problem that makes it difficult to process information. The condition can lead to memory loss, confusion, decreased attention span, other cognitive symptoms, and movement symptoms. The article offers practical tips for managing the disease and for caring for someone with vascular dementia.

Published by the American Stroke Association.

Vascular Dementia (2018)

In this overview, vascular dementia is described as dementia resulting from a series of small strokes over a long period. The article lists risk factors for vascular dementia, such as diabetes and heart disease, and symptoms, which grow worse as the disease progresses. Also discussed are diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, possible complications, and prevention.

Published by the National Library of Medicine. Phone: 1-888-346-3656.

Multi-Infarct Dementia Information Page (2019)

This article provides an overview of multi-infarct dementia, a type of vascular dementia caused by multiple, often “silent” strokes. It describes symptoms, the difficulty of diagnosis, and treatment by preventing or controlling risk factors such as high cholesterol.

Published by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Phone: 1-800-352-9424. Email: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Contact_Us.

Vascular Dementia: What Is It, and What Causes It? (2018)

This detailed article explains that vascular dementia has several types, including stroke-related, post-stroke, single-infarct, multi-infarct, subcortical, and mixed dementias. It describes their separate, but related, causes and how the disorder affects people over time. Risk factors, diagnosis, and treatment and support are also covered. The article’s information is available in a sign-language video and an audio recording (each approximately 30 minutes). A summary is provided in a 3-minute video.

Available from the Alzheimer’s Society, London.

CADASIL

CADASIL stands for cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy. It is a rare, inherited disorder that affects the small blood vessels in the brain and leads to vascular dementia or vascular cognitive impairment and other symptoms.

CADASIL (2019)

This overview explains the meaning of the terms in the acronym CADASIL, describes the hallmark signs and symptoms caused by damage to small blood vessels, and explains that a mutation of the NOTCH3 gene causes CADASIL. The overview also describes affected populations, related disorders, and standard and investigational therapies. The web page includes resources and references.

Published by the National Organization for Rare Disorders.

CADASIL Information Page (2019)

This web page describes CADASIL as an inherited form of cerebrovascular disease that occurs when the thickening of blood vessel walls blocks the flow of blood to the brain. Symptoms and disease onset vary widely, but CADASIL often begins in a person’s mid-30s. The web pages describe treatment of symptoms (there is no cure) and provides links to clinical trials.

Published by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Phone: 1-800-352-9424. Email: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Contact_Us.

Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Subcortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy (2019)

This web page answers questions about CADASIL—what it is, how people inherit it, and more. It explains that although the condition causes strokes, it is not associated with common risk factors for stroke such as high blood pressure. Rather, an inherited genetic mutation (in the NOTCH3 gene) affecting small blood vessels is the cause of several symptoms, including migraines and dementia. The web page links to other online resources.

Published by the National Library of Medicine. Phone: 1-888-346-3656.

Understanding CADASIL

This brief guide explains the brain changes resulting from the NOTCH3 gene mutation that causes CADASIL. It focuses on transient ischemic attack and stroke (common symptoms of CADASIL) and their effects, including cognitive impairment. It also lists medical treatments and tests to avoid because they can increase the risk of certain symptoms. This article is part of a website that provides a Q&A, news and videos, and links to online and downloadable resources.

Published by CADASIL Together We Have Hope.

Binswanger’s Disease (Subcortical Vascular Dementia)

Binswanger’s disease, also called subcortical vascular dementia, is caused by damage to white matter in the brain. This damage is the result of thickened, narrowed arteries that decrease blood supply to the brain.

Binswanger’s Disease (2019)

This article discusses Binswanger’s disease, a progressive neurological disorder that usually occurs in people age 50 or older. The disorder affects the blood vessels that supply the brain’s white matter and deep structures. Signs and symptoms, causes, affected populations, related disorders, and standard and investigational therapies are described. The web page includes resources and references.

Published by the National Organization for Rare Disorders.

Binswanger’s Disease Information Page (2017)

In this brief overview, Binswanger’s disease is defined as a type of dementia caused by changes in arteries that damage white matter in the brain. It lists symptoms and provides information about treatment of symptoms and ways to possibly slow disease progression.

Published by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Phone: 1-800-352-9424. Email: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Contact_Us.

This content is provided by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health. NIA scientists and other experts review this content to ensure that it is accurate, authoritative, and up to date.