How is suspected vascular dementia diagnosed
What basic workup should be done when vascular dementia is suspected?
The workup should begin with imaging studies and psychometric testing in addition to the history and physical examination.
In most cases, all tests recommended for the diagnosis of Alzheimers Disease should be pursued to rule out additional conditions that may cause or contribute to the dementia, including a lipid profile and blood homocysteine levels, which are risk factors for both Alzheimers Disease and vascular dementia.
Some patients, especially those with clear-cut strokes, may benefit from imaging of the carotid arteries, especially when high grade stenosis or ulcerated plaques are suspected.
An echocardiogram is indicated in patients who have a cardiac history or appear to have had embolic strokes.
Patients who have had strokes or transient ischemic attacks should be considered for antiplatelet therapies.