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Reading Difficulties in Patient AM Following the Development of Vascular Dementia

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Reading Difficulties in Patient AM Following the Development of Vascular Dementia

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION

Dementia was defined by Cummings et al. (1980) as 'an acquired,

persistent impairment of intellectual function with compromise and at

least of the following spheres of activity: language, memory,

visuospatial skills, emotion or personality and cognition.' Dementia

occurs as a series of subtypes, one of which is known as vascular

dementia (Brown, 1993).

Vascular dementia is a disease which is most commonly caused by

impairment to the circulatory system of the brain following damage

caused by a stroke (Alzheimer, Scotland., 2002). Vascular dementia is

found to be most prevalent in people aged 60-75 years and is more

prevalent amongst the male population in comparison to female.

Vascular dementia is seen to result in progressive deterioration of

the higher functions of the brain for example memory, recognition, the

ability to learn new information and fine motor movements (Alzheimer,

Scotland, 2002). These changes commonly occur in a stepwise pattern

due to the sudden occurrence of strokes.

The features common to vascular dementia which characterise the

disease include loss of memory and problems with forgetting recent

events. The clarity of speech may alter resulting in difficulties in

communicating. Patients may become poor at expressing themselves with

problems thinking of the words appropriate to what they want to say as

well as understanding the words of others, resulting in slow and

effortful speech. Both reading and writing abilities may also be

affected in similar ways to speech, all disabilities which can be ...

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