Multi-infarct dementia (MID), a type of vascular dementia, happens when a number of small strokes causes damage in the blood vessels in the brain, resulting in the gradual reduction in brain function.
The mini strokes or transient ischemic attacks (TIA) that lead to MID show temporary symptoms that may be experienced as:
Dizziness or loss of coordination
Impact to speech, like slurring words
Appearance of moderate weakness in a leg or arm
A sudden appearance of symptoms — from misplacing items to getting lost to the inability to perform tasks completed frequently in the past — could point to multi-infarct dementia. As with the progression in damage from the subsequent strokes, the severity of the symptoms in the individual can frighten or harm others, but there are ways to alleviate symptoms and provide effective care for both the individual and the caregivers.
Vascular dementia is the second most common cause of dementia, following Alzheimer’s disease, in people over the age of 65.