Vascular dementia is the second most common cause of dementia in older people. Because it has a lower profile than Alzheimer's, many people don't suspect vascular dementia when forgetfulness becomes problematic. It's also difficult to diagnose so it's difficult to know exactly how many people suffer from vascular dementia. Current estimates attribute 15% to 20% of dementia cases in older adults to vascular dementia.
Determining the root cause can help determine the best action plan. If it's vascular...
Increased pressure on the brain, which develops
when the brain swells after a large stroke. Such swelling occurs quickly,
becomes most severe within 3 to 5 days after the stroke, and can cause death.
Pressure on the brain is more likely in people who have had a stroke caused by
a bleeding blood vessel (hemorrhagic stroke).
Fever. This may make
a person's chance of recovery worse if the fever occurs at the same time as a
stroke. Fever may be a sign of an infection, such as pneumonia or a urinary
tract infection. Drugs that reduce fever (acetaminophen or aspirin) are often
used. But if these do not work, a special blanket that circulates cool air or
water may be needed.
High blood sugar (glucose). This often occurs
in people who have
diabetes. Very high or low blood sugar immediately
after a stroke interferes with proper brain cell function, increasing the risk
Blood pressure changes. People who have a stroke
usually will have higher blood pressure for at least 1 to 3 days after the
stroke. This may represent an attempt by the body to increase blood flow to the
part of the brain that is being affected by the stroke. Only very high blood
pressure is treated. If it occurs, very high blood pressure usually is brought
down slowly. A rapid drop in blood pressure can lead to more brain
Buildup of spinal fluid within the brain (hydrocephalus). Fluid on the brain is more likely to
occur if the stroke was caused by bleeding (hemorrhagic
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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