Neurological Manifestations of Vascular Dementia Follow-up

Updated: Nov 07, 2019
  • Author: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Niranjan N Singh, MBBS, MD, DM, FAHS, FAANEM  more...
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The rate of progression of cognitive impairment in vascular dementia is variable; some patients progress at a slower rate than patients with Alzheimer disease. The mortality rate, however, is higher in patients with vascular dementia than in patients with Alzheimer disease, with 50% of patients with vascular dementia not living longer than 4 years.

While waiting for effective drug therapies and first-level evidence data, healthcare professionals should be encouraged to improve early diagnosis of cognitive impairment and activate control strategies against vascular disease and unhealthy lifestyle habits.


Patient Education

Once the diagnosis of dementia is established, patients and patients' families should be educated about the nature of the condition with great sensitivity. The clinician should balance his or her explanation to avoid provoking negative reactions from the patient or the family.

Potentially dangerous activities (eg, driving) should be discussed; provide advice regarding possible interventions (eg, driving evaluation).

The patient should be advised about electing a power of attorney in case the patient becomes incapacitated.

Caregivers require support as well. Provide contact information to caregivers for the local chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, which organizes support groups for caregivers of individuals with dementia.

For excellent patient education resources, visit eMedicineHealth's Brain and Nervous System Center. Also, see eMedicineHealth's patient education articles Dementia Overview, Dementia Medication Overview, Alzheimer Disease, Stroke, and Stroke-Related Dementia.