NINDS Multi-Infarct Dementia Information Page: NINDS


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Article title: NINDS Multi-Infarct Dementia Information Page: NINDS
Main condition: Multi-Infarct Dementia
Conditions: Multi-Infarct Dementia
What is Multi-Infarct Dementia?
Multi-infarct dementia (MID), a common cause of dementia in the elderly, occurs when blood clots block small blood vessels in the brain and destroy brain tissue. Probable risk factors are high blood pressure and advanced age. CADASIL (cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy) is an inherited form of MID. This disease can cause stroke, dementia, migraine-like headaches, and psychiatric disturbances. Symptoms of MID, which often develop in a stepwise manner, include confusion, problems with recent memory, wandering or getting lost in familiar places, loss of bladder or bowel control (incontinence), emotional problems such as laughing or crying inappropriately, difficulty following instructions, and problems handling money. Usually the damage is so slight that the change is noticeable only as a series of small steps. However over time, as more small vessels are blocked, there is a gradual mental decline. MID, which typically begins between the ages of 60 and 75, affects men more often than women.

Is there any treatment?
Currently there is no treatment for MID that can reverse the damage that has already occurred. Treatment focuses on prevention of additional brain damage by controlling high blood pressure.

What is the prognosis?
Prognosis for patients with MID is generally poor. Individuals with the disease may improve for short periods of time, then decline again. Early treatment and management of blood pressure may prevent further progression of the disorder.

What research is being done?
The NINDS supports and conducts a wide range of research on dementing disorders such as MID and on cerebrovascular disease. The goals of this research are to improve the diagnosis of these disorders and to find ways to treat and prevent them.

 Organizations

National Institute on Aging (NIA)
National Institutes of Health
Bldg. 31, Rm. 5C27
Bethesda, MD 20892-2292
http://www.nih.gov/nia
Tel: 301-496-1752 800-222-2225 TTY: 800-222-4225

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
6001 Executive Blvd.
Rm. 8184, MSC 9663
Bethesda, MD 20892-9663
nimhinfo@nih.gov
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/
Tel: 301-443-4513 TTY: 301-443-8431 Depression Info: 800-421-4211 Anxiety Info: 88-88-ANXIETY (269-4389) Panic Info: 888-64-PANIC (64-72642)
Fax: 301-443-4279





This fact sheet is in the public domain. You may copy it.

Provided by:
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892







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