Epidemiology of multi-infarct dementia

Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 1991 Summer;5(2):71-6. doi: 10.1097/00002093-199100520-00004.


Multi-infarct dementia (MID), thought to result from the cumulative effect of repeated episodes of cerebral infarction, represents a sizable proportion of the dementia cases in the population. The frequency of MID as the cause of dementia is commonly quoted as 12-20%, but a more conservative figure on the order of 10% is suggested from prospective epidemiologic studies. Its prevalence increases steadily with advancing age, and a male predominance has been noted. Geographical variations in prevalence of MID may reflect true geographic/ethnic differences or lack of uniformity in the use of diagnostic criteria. Risk factors possibly associated with dementia after stroke include advancing age, previous cerebral or myocardial infarction, an atherothrombotic stroke mechanism, and cerebral atrophy as detected by imaging studies. In order to clarify the role of cerebrovascular disease as a cause of dementia, future epidemiologic studies should define the entity in precise terms, and place emphasis on clearly establishing the temporal relationship between stroke and dementia; new onset of dementia should be correlated with the clinical and anatomic features of the stroke.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / complications
  • Dementia, Multi-Infarct / diagnosis
  • Dementia, Multi-Infarct / epidemiology*
  • Dementia, Multi-Infarct / etiology
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors