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Stroke-Related Dementia (cont.)

Medical Treatment

Drug therapy

Drug therapies in vascular dementia include those that prevent clotting and treat underlying vascular risk factors (for example, high blood pressure and diabetes) to prevent further progression of dementia. Drug therapies may also treat associated symptoms like depression.

  • Antiplatelet agents: These are medications that inhibit blood clotting by altering platelet function and aggregation. Platelet inhibition is a mild form of blood thinning. These agents help prevent recurrent stroke.

  • Antihypertensive agents: These drugs reduce blood pressure and thus help prevent strokes.

  • Other agents may be given to treat additional risk factors for stroke (for example, high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes).

  • Antidepressant agents: Severe depression is a very common mood disorder in vascular dementia and may contribute to cognitive decline. Treating the depression with medication may not only relieve the depression but also improve mental functioning.

If you take medications for other medical conditions, your health care provider may adjust or change these medications. Some drugs can worsen dementia symptoms.

Nondrug therapy

Symptoms such as social inappropriateness and aggression may improve with various behavior-changing interventions. Some interventions focus on helping the individual adjust or control his or her behavior. Others focus on helping caregivers and other family members change the person's behavior. These approaches sometimes work better when combined with drug treatment.

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Vascular Dementia »

Vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer disease (AD).

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