Multiple strokes may result in extensive cerebral damage and dementia. Such patients mostly have severe atherosclerotic cerebrovascular disease.
Cerebrovascular disease is the third most common cause of dementia in old age after Alzheimer's disease and Lewy Body Dementia (1), accounting for 20% of cases compared to 50% from Alzheimer's. In another 10% of patients, it occurs in combination with Alzheimer's neuropathological changes.
The condition may be confused with parkinsonism on account of the shuffling gait often present.
Patients with this form of dementia are generally treated with aspirin to forestall further strokes. Anticoagulant therapy should be considered only if there is an identified source of cerebral emboli.
1) McKeith IG, et al. Consensus guidelines for the clinical and pathologic diagnosis of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB): report of the consortium on DLB international workshop. Neurology. 1996;47:1113–1124.