Mixed dementia means that a person has Alzheimer’s and cerebrovascular dementia. Sometimes people may also use the term more broadly to refer to any condition in which a person has two or more types of dementia.
Identifying the type of dementia a person has
Read on to learn more about mixed dementia.
Dementia is a category of conditions that
- frontotemporal dementia
- Lewy body dementia
- Alzheimer’s disease
- vascular dementia
Mixed dementia occurs when a person has more than one type of dementia at the same time. In most cases,
It is not possible to determine which type of dementia a person has based on symptoms alone. Dementia affects many aspects of brain function and
Symptoms to look for include:
- changes in personality or mood
- memory problems, including
short-term memorydifficulties in the early days of symptoms
- behavior changes
- difficulty with daily tasks such as driving and navigating the world
- trouble with self-care
- changes in speech, such as severe difficulty finding the right words
A doctor may suspect mixed dementia if imaging scans show changes in the brain that are consistent with multiple forms of dementia.
The symptoms of some other diseases can mimic those of dementia, so a person should not assume that any memory loss or change in the ability to think is a result of dementia.
Mixed dementia is a multifactorial disease, which means that many causes and risk factors contribute to its development. Researchers
The main risk factors
- advancing age
- cerebrovascular disease such as atherosclerosis
- history of stroke
- Down syndrome,
which isa risk factor for early Alzheimer’s disease
- family history of dementia
- traumatic head injury
- history of cardiovascular risk factors such as smoking and high blood pressure
A combination of tests, such as the following, can help a doctor determine which type of dementia a person has:
- cognitive function testing
- brain imaging scans
- tests that detect and monitor for cardiovascular disease
- other medical tests
In some cases, a doctor may do testing to rule out other causes, such an infection or a head injury.
There is no cure for any form of dementia, including mixed dementia.
Treatments — especially drugs for Alzheimer’s disease —
- the person’s health status
- the severity of symptoms
- the person’s treatment preferences
Additionally, a person may need to take medications to manage vascular disease, such as blood pressure drugs or cholesterol-lowering drugs. These drugs can slow the progression of vascular disease and help lower the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Other medications to manage symptoms and supportive care can also help. For example, a person with severe memory loss may need to live in a supportive environment or need daily support with self-care tasks.
Dementia is a
Mixed dementia is also progressive, becoming worse over time. However, medications that help manage vascular disease
What is the life expectancy with mixed dementia?
Like other forms of dementia, mixed dementia is a
People with mixed dementia
Below are some commonly asked questions on the topic:
What is the most common mixed dementia?
The term “mixed dementia” typically
However, some people apply this term to people who have multiple types of dementia or develop a second form of dementia after receiving a diagnosis of one type.
Is mixed dementia hereditary?
Researchers have not identified a single gene or combination of genes that causes dementia. However, having an immediate family member with Alzheimer’s disease is a
Vascular dementia, the second component of mixed dementia,
Does mixed dementia progress quickly?
However, dementia is an unpredictable illness, and there is no way to predict how an individual’s condition will progress.
Mixed dementia occurs when more than one form of dementia causes a person’s symptoms. In most cases, doctors use this term to refer to a combination of cerebrovascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, though they may less commonly use it to refer to other combinations of dementia types.
People with mixed dementia need medical care to get the right diagnosis and to explore treatment options. A person who has memory loss, personality changes, or other changes in their abilities or cognition should consult a doctor.