Multi-Infarct Dementia versus Alzheimer Disease

What is Alzheimer Disease?

Alzheimer's disease is a very well known condition. It is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease characterized by memory loss, language deterioration, impaired visuospatial skills, poor judgment, and indifferent attitude. However, motor function remains preserved. It usually begins after age 65. But the onset may occur as early as age 40. Alzheimer disease appears first as memory decline and, over several years, it destroys cognition, personality, and ther person's ability to function. Confusion and restlessness may also occur.

Are These Symptoms Unique to Alzheimer Disease?

The answer is, of course, "No." Similar symptoms can also result from fatigue, grief, depression, illness, vision or hearing loss, the use of alcohol or certain medications, or simply the burden of too many details to remember at once. There are also many diseases that can cause similar symptoms to those typical of Alzheimer's. Among the diseases that have to be distinguished from Alzheimer's is 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.