What is vascular dementia and what causes the disease?
When the vascular system is damaged, blood is unable to reach the brain cells causing them to die. This can lead to areas of an individuals memory unable to work correctly. This is often refered to as vascular dementia.
Vascular damage most commonly occurs in people who suffer from conditions like diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
The symptoms and the progression of the disease varies from person to person.
The following symptoms are particularly common in vascular dementia sufferers. Low concentration levels. Depression. Physical weakness. Memory loss and weakness. Epileptic seizure. Restlessness. Incontinence.
Vascular damage can arise following a stroke. Or as an effect of small vessel disease. Dementia can occur following a single stroke or after a number of mini strokes called TIA’s. These don’t always cause noticeable symptoms and sometimes only cause temporary symptoms.
Dementia arising from small vessel disease is commonly referred to as sub-cortical vascular dementia. Or in it’s most severe form Binswanger’s disease. Walking problems are typically associated with this form of dementia.
Watch a video on vascular dementia below.
The video is produced by the Alzheimer’s Society.
People with an increased risk
Dementia is more likely to develop in the following types of people. Type II diabetes. Heart disease. Sleep apnea. High blood pressure and high cholesterol. Those with a family history of strokes or dementia. Those from an Indian, Sri Lanka or African Caribbean background. As are those who smoke, drink heavily, consume a fatty diet and refrain from exercise.
Cure for Vascular dementia
Although there isn’t a current cure or a way to reverse its effects, it is possible to slow the disease’s progression. By treating any underlying health problems and adopting a healthier lifestyle the deterioration of the brain functioning can be reduced. Physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy can all help those with dementia related brain damage to regain their previous functions.
You can find more information from the stroke association here