Stroke-related dementia: Can it be mistaken for Alzheimer's?

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Stroke-related dementia: Can it be mistaken for Alzheimer's?

Question

Is it possible for stroke dementia to be mistaken for Alzheimer's disease?

Rebecca
Tennessee

Answer

Yes, dementia due to a stroke (vascular dementia) can be initially mistaken for Alzheimer's disease. For this reason, a thorough medical evaluation is important to accurately diagnose the cause of dementia symptoms.

Vascular dementia occurs when arteries feeding the brain become narrowed or blocked. Symptoms of vascular dementia, such as confusion and memory problems, can be similar to those of Alzheimer's — although their onset is usually abrupt. However, some forms of vascular dementia progress more slowly. Also, it's possible have Alzheimer's and vascular dementia at the same time.

Although no single test can diagnose Alzheimer's, a stroke diagnosis can be confirmed with a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerized tomography (CT) scan of the brain.

Last Updated: 11/10/2005
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