At least one in every ten people with dementia is diagnosed as having more than one type.

Mixed dementia is much more common in older age groups, such as those over 75 years.

Despite many older people having both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular problems, relatively few are diagnosed with ‘mixed dementia’.

Doctors tend to only use the term ‘mixed dementia’ when a person has clear clinical features of two types of disease that directly contribute to dementia symptoms.

Symptoms  vary depending on the types of dementia a person has. Often someone will have a greater amount of one type of dementia than another.

Occasionally, mixed dementia can be a combination of three types of dementia-causing disease but most diagnoses tend to be a mixture of two types. 

Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia is the most common type of mixed dementia.

The person affected has two different diseases in their brain that contribute to their dementia symptoms.

Alzheimer’s disease is caused by a build-up of faulty proteins in and around brain cells – particularly cells that help to form memories. Earlier stages of Alzheimer’s disease are strongly associated with memory problems, language difficulties, and becoming confused more easily.

The ‘vascular’ part of mixed dementia is caused by problems with the supply of blood throughout the brain. Sometimes this can be caused by having a stroke or a series of mini-strokes.

Vascular disease prevents brain cells from getting enough oxygen and nutrients.

Generally, the condition tends to result in much slower processing of thoughts and information, difficulties with planning or problem-solving, and trouble concentrating for more than a short period.

There is currently no cure for any type of dementia, including mixed dementia. 

Drugs and other treatments can help maintain a better level of cognitive function for longer. This does not stop the underlying damage happening in the brain.