Friday, October 10, 2014

Day 9 - More About the Diagnosis

Once we received a diagnosis from the tests my husband had at Mayo Clinic, Multi-infarct or Vascular dementia, I set out to understand just what to expect for our future.  I discovered the book The 36-Hour Day by Nancy L. Mace, MA, and Peter V. Rabins, MD, MPH and found the information I needed.

According to The 36-Hour Day 1, “Vascular dementia is believed to be the second or third most common cause of irreversible dementia.  It usually results from a series of strokes within the brain but can be due to other diseases that affect arteries in the brain.  Strokes are sometimes so tiny that neither you nor the afflicted person is aware of any change, but all together they can destroy enough bits of brain tissue to affect memory and other intellectual functions.  This condition used to be called “hardening of the arteries”, but autopsy studies have shown that it is stroke damage rather than inadequate circulation that causes the problem.  In some cases, treatment can reduce the possibility of further damage.”

The Internet is also a great source for information – just GOOGLE your subject and voila!!!  There it is – more information than you could ever want!  So, in addition to what I found in The 36-Hour Day, I have also posted information from The Alzheimer’s Association at

“In vascular dementia, changes in thinking skills sometimes occur suddenly following strokes that block major brain blood vessels. Thinking problems also may begin as mild changes that worsen gradually as a result of multiple minor strokes or other conditions that affect smaller blood vessels, leading to cumulative damage. A growing number of experts prefer the term "vascular cognitive impairment (VCI)" to "vascular dementia" because they feel it better expresses the concept that vascular thinking changes can range from mild to severe.”

"Individuals at highest risk include those who have had a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA, also known as a 'mini stroke').  Additional high-risk groups include those with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or other risk factors for heart or blood vessel disease."

 “Vascular brain changes often coexist with changes linked to other types of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease and Lewy Body dementia. Several studies have found that vascular changes and other brain abnormalities may interact in ways that increase the likelihood of dementia diagnosis.”

All too much research and technical stuff – ready for a break!  Think I’ll share something different the next few days, including another original piece of poetry on Sunday!  I hope you’ll join me as I continue this 31-day journey – which actually is to last a lifetime!

1 The 36-Hour Day by Nancy L. Mace, MA, and Peter V. Rabins, MD, MPH, Fifth Edition
2 Alzheimer’s Association website:


  1. Thanks for sharing your story and the technical information as well. It gives an overview of the science behind the disease. I'll be here following the rest of your story. God bless you for being brave.

  2. Thank you for being faithful to check out my blog; I know it has been a bit technical lately...if I am going to write about dementia and our journey, it needed to be included - I've really learned a lot from the books and sources on the Internet; and hopefully sharing it will help others. One of my last posts will be a list of resources I found helpful! Thanks again for joining me on this journey (I've been keeping up with you as well!!).


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