Which psychological disorders are associated with vascular dementia?

Updated: Mar 26, 2018
  • Author: Kannayiram Alagiakrishnan, MD, MBBS, MPH, MHA; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Answer

Major depression is widely observed mood disorder in vascular dementia. Severe depression is more common in persons with vascular dementia than in those with AD. Elderly demented patients may not endorse depressed mood and may be socially withdrawn with decreased psychomotor activity. Suicidal thoughts, intent, passive wishes to die and feeling that life is not worthy is seen in these patients and they should be followed closely. Suicide attempts were observed in fewer than 1% of patients with dementia, but those attempts are often associated with depression. [15]

Demented patients may develop psychosis, delusions, hallucinations and paranoia at some point in their disease and sometimes agitation can be dangerous when it manifests into abnormal behavior and in rare circumstances can lead to attempts of homicide.

Patients with vascular dementia commonly have mood and behavioral changes. In some patients with lacunar state and Binswanger disease, such problems may be more prominent than intellectual deficits.

Executive functioning deficits are seen prior to severe memory loss in the early stages of subcortical vascular cognitive impairment. [16]


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