What are the Symptoms of Small Vessel Disease?

Small vessel disease (SVD) refers to a condition where the small blood vessels in the brain are narrowed or damaged. It is often associated with aging and various risk factors. Symptoms of small vessel disease may include:

  1. Cognitive Changes:
    • Difficulty with thinking, processing information, or making decisions.
    • Slower thought processing or mental response time.
    • Mild memory problems or forgetfulness.
  2. Mood and Personality Changes:
    • Depression or feelings of sadness.
    • Irritability or mood swings.
    • Increased apathy or disinterest in activities.
  3. Walking and Balance Difficulties:
    • Unsteady gait or balance issues, making walking more challenging.
    • Frequent falls or unexplained dizziness.
  4. Incontinence or Urinary Symptoms:
    • Difficulty controlling bladder function or increased urgency to urinate.
  5. Fatigue and Weakness:
    • Generalized fatigue or a lack of energy.
  6. Emotional Instability:
    • Emotional lability, characterized by sudden, uncontrolled changes in emotions.
  7. Headaches:
    • Frequent or chronic headaches, including tension-type or migraine-like headaches.
  8. Speech and Language Problems:
    • Slurred speech or difficulty finding the right words during conversation.
  9. Vision Changes:
    • Blurred vision or difficulty focusing.
  10. Sleep Disturbances: Changes in sleep patterns, insomnia, or excessive daytime sleepiness.
  1. Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs): Brief episodes of neurological dysfunction, often referred to as “mini-strokes.”

It’s important to note that the symptoms of small vessel disease can be subtle and may progress gradually over time. Additionally, they can vary from person to person. If you suspect you may have small vessel disease or are experiencing symptoms related to brain function or blood circulation, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation and appropriate management.