Vascular Dementia Pittsburgh

What is Dementia?

Dementia is defined by the National Institute of Health as: the loss of cognitive functioning (thinking, remembering, reasoning and behavioral abilities) to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities. These functions can include: memory, language skills, visual perception, problem solving, self-management, the ability to focus or pay attention, and the ability to control emotion and impulse.

Vascular Dementia Pittsburgh

Formerly known as multi-infarct or post-stroke dementia, vascular dementia is the second most common cause of dementia.

These are disorders that affect the blood circulation in your brain. Proper control of blood pressure, blood sugars, or vascular issues improves outcomes with this type of dementia. The onset can occur suddenly post a stroke or slowly in the case of someone with uncontrolled diabetes.

Symptoms: Impaired judgment, decreased apathy, urinary changes, changes or difficulty with motor skills which may affect balance.

Diagnosing Dementia

According to the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria assessment for dementia a patient must have: Memory Loss – inability to learn new information or to recall previously learned information and two or more of the following:

1. Aphasia: language disturbances
2. Apraxia: motor activity impairment although intact function
3. Agnosia: failure to recognize/identify items despite intact sensory functioning
4. Disturbances in Executive Functioning: planning, organizing, sequencing, initiation of tasks
5. Inability to function in a social or occupational setting

Study Urges Doctors to Consider “Symptom Burden” in Older Patients

male doctor examining older adult woman's knee to determine cause of pain

Margaret went to the doctor because her knee pain was worsening. The doctor ordered x-rays and increased Margaret’s dose of anti-inflammatory medication. Margaret never mentioned to the doctor that she had been feeling depressed lately, and that she’d been having trouble sleeping … yet both of those things can increase sensations of pain. And in…

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