Vascular dementia or multi-infarct dementia is the second leading cause of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease in elderly adults; it is a form of cognitive impairment caused by the alteration of cerebral blood circulation due to acute events, such as a stroke or cerebral haemorrhage or as a result of chronic conditions such as atherosclerosis.
The onset is generally abrupt if secondary to an acute or slow vascular event characterized by progressive worsening, for example in the case of repeated micro-strokes or in the presence of diffuse atherosclerosis.
Symptoms that can occur in the presence of vascular dementia may vary from patient to patient depending on the specific area of the brain affected by the reduction of blood circulation and can include cognitive / behavioural manifestations and motor disorders of various natures and severity.
Current therapeutic approaches tend to slow down the evolution of brain damage along with rules for healthy living (a balanced diet, rich in fruit and vegetables, fish, whole grains, vegetable oils, and dried fruit, regular physical activity, less alcohol, no smoking and checking body weight) as well as therapies that monitor hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes and heart disease.
Some patients may experience depressive symptoms during dementia; depression can not only result in an impairment of quality of life, but also lead to a more rapid deterioration of intellectual performance and overall patient functionality.
In these cases, the use of antidepressant drugs may be indicated; the neurologist may also decide to administer certain medications authorized for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, such as anticholinesterases and memantine and / or neuroprotectors (citicoline).
PIAM has been active in neurology for many years, offering appropriate therapeutic strategies, aiming to respect patient needs as much as possible and proposing appropriate solutions, even for weak and multi-treated individuals.