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Vascular dementia: second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer's - five typical symptoms


Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia. This is followed by what is known as vascular dementia. Both show different symptoms.

Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia.

This is followed by what is known as vascular dementia.

Both show different symptoms.

According to the German Alzheimer Society, at the end of 2021 almost 1.8 million people were living with dementia in Germany, which can announce itself years in advance.

The most common and therefore probably best-known cause of dementia is Alzheimer's disease.

However, there are other forms of dementia, such as Parkinson's dementia.

Vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer's.

Even if both types are similar, the two most common forms still differ from each other in a few points.

Vascular dementia: Usually occurs as a result of several small strokes


A stroke or cerebral infarction can be the cause of vascular dementia.

© blickwinkel/IMAGO

Vascular (vas = Latin for vessel) dementia is caused by circulatory disorders in the brain and usually occurs as a result of several small strokes.

They are the most common cause of vascular dementia. According to this, parts of the brain are not supplied with sufficient oxygen after a stroke or cerebral hemorrhage.

In this case one speaks of a so-called cerebral infarction.

Such an undersupply can lead to damage to the brain, which in turn triggers the symptoms of dementia.

Even a few small infarcts or minor bleeding can lead to significant problems - depending on the area in which the brain was damaged.

In addition, vascular dementia usually begins in old age and can occur together with Alzheimer's dementia.

Both forms are similar, for example, in that mental performance often decreases over time.

Unlike Alzheimer's, however, the symptoms of vascular dementia sometimes improve.

A disease can make itself felt through the following typical symptoms:

  • Speech problems

    : Speech and language problems often occur during or after a stroke.

    In the case of vascular dementia, the vocabulary is therefore often smaller and those affected suffer from word-finding difficulties.

  • Thinking ability decreases

    : Those affected often suffer from a deterioration in memory, attention and concentration.

    They also find it more difficult to orientate themselves and their thinking generally becomes slower.

  • Problems and disturbances in the ability to abstract

    : sense of time, judgement, mental agility and spatial vision can be disturbed.

    As a result, those affected often develop “rigid” behavior.

  • Changed personality

    : Typical symptoms can include a lack of drive and apathy as well as mood swings and even anxiety or depression.

  • Physical complaints

    : Vascular dementia can also present with physical complaints such as dizziness, gait disorders, swallowing problems, problems with urination or paralysis of the facial muscles.

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Vascular dementia: How symptoms differ from those of Alzheimer's disease

Depending on which parts of the brain are affected and how severely they are damaged, various symptoms also appear with varying degrees of severity.

There are often fluctuations or the symptoms gradually worsen.

In contrast to Alzheimer's patients, those affected by vascular dementia tend to have problems with attention and concentration.

At the same time, physical complaints and unusual behavior such as laughing or crying without a specific reason occur more frequently.

On the other hand, forgetfulness – a typical Alzheimer’s symptom – is initially rarer or less pronounced in vascular dementia.

However, if a mixed form of Alzheimer's and vascular dementia occurs, it is usually more stressful and progresses faster.

Preventing dementia: ten foods that can reduce the risk

Preventing dementia: ten foods that can reduce the risk

This article only contains general information on the respective health topic and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medication.

In no way does it replace a visit to the doctor.

Unfortunately, our editors are not allowed to answer individual questions about clinical pictures.

List of rubrics: © blickwinkel/IMAGO

Source: merkur

All life articles on 2023-04-06

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