What is a Stroke/Brain Attack? - National Stroke Association


What is a Stroke/Brain Attack? - National Stroke Association

Patients with VaD may become more dependent upon family members or caregivers for

assistance with activities of daily living due to physical and behavioral changes.

Diagnosing Vascular Dementia

Your healthcare provider should conduct a complete medical and patient history evaluation

in order to determine the presence of VaD. Diagnostic tests may be used to

exclude other possible causes of cognitive decline. Clinical tools are available to assist

healthcare professionals in diagnosing VaD, including brain imaging techniques (CT or

MRI) and tests of cognitive functioning.

Treating Vascular Dementia

There are currently no therapies or drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug

Administration (FDA) available for the treatment of VaD. Recently, an existing drug was

submitted to the FDA for review as a potential treatment for VaD.

The current treatment strategies focus on reducing the risk of additional strokes, or prevention

of stroke.

Other clinical trials are currently underway to test drugs that may treat patients with


Any type of memory loss, including vascular dementia, needs to be evaluated by a


Communication Problems

If a stroke causes damage to the language center in the brain, which is usually found

on the left side of the brain, there will be language difficulties. Some stroke survivors

are unable to understand or speak at all. Others do not make sense when they speak.

Some can no longer read or write, and many have difficulty pronouncing words.

Communication problems are among the most frightening after-effects of stroke for

both the survivor and the family, often requiring professional help. Persons with right

brain injury often have difficulty with attention, social etiquette, and non-verbal communication

such as tone of voice and facial expression.

Daily Living Skills

Stroke survivors will find that completing simple tasks around the house which they

took for granted before the stroke are now extremely difficult or impossible. Many

adaptive devices and techniques have been designed especially for stroke survivors to

help them retain their independence and to function safely and easily. Homes usually

can be modified so that narrow doorways, stairs and bathtubs do not interfere with the

stroke survivors’ abilities to care for their personal needs.

Helpful bathroom devices include grab bars, a raised toilet seat, a tub bench, a

hand-held shower head, no-slip pads, a long-handled brush, a washing mitt with

pockets for soap, soap-on-a-rope, an electric toothbrush and an electric razor.

National Stroke Association’s Complete Guide to Stroke


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