What is Vascular Dementia

DementiaMost people are familiar with dementia, but what they’re not familiar with is the fact that there’s several different types of dementia. The second most common form of dementia is called Vascular Dementia, and it’s caused when problems occur with the blood supply to the brain. Understanding the facts is the best way to create a universal understanding regarding this mind altering condition.

What are the symptoms of vascular dementia?

Vascular dementia is unique in that it affects everyone differently. The speed in which it progresses differs between each person. While other forms of dementia can come on slowly, vascular dementia sets on rapidly, and generally comes about after a certain incident such as a stroke. While in the early stages there may not be many symptoms, but much like its onset, many more deteriorating symptoms can arise out of nowhere. While most forms of dementia have symptoms that mirror those seen in Alzheimer’s, those seen with vascular dementia have their own characterizes that are unique to every other form. Some of the symptoms of vascular dementia include; slowed thinking, issues with concentration, reduction in communication skills, mental symptoms of anxiety and depression, decreased memory, seizures, bouts of confusion, visual disturbances, changes in behavior, hallucinations, and other physiological problems.

How does it develop?

When the blood systems within the brain become damaged, vascular dementia occurs. The brain needs proper blood flow in order to stay healthy and for the brain cells to flourish. When this flow is disrupted, damage occurs either at a slow or rapid rate, which is dependent upon the amount of damage present in the brain. The symptoms show when the brain cells begin to die, and as death progresses, the symptoms progress along with it.

When vascular dementia is present, additional underlying symptoms should be looked for. In almost all cases this form of dementia is present when additional health issues occur. The most common healthy problems liked to dementia include; high blood pressure, heart problems, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

There are several forms of vascular dementia, and each is dependent upon the progression and underlying symptoms present in the individual.

Read: Denial is Dangerous: 4 Dangers of Dementia Denial

Stoke-related dementia

Vascular dementia is related to stoke-related dementia, each occurring due to disrupted blood flow to the brain. When the brains blood flow is cut off, a stoke will occur, and often the damage is permanent. The extent of damage depends on how long the cut-off occurred for, and the level of damage present within the blood cell that burst. While blood vessels generally bust due to a stroke, this isn’t always the case. When the burst does occur the stroke is referred to as a hemorrhagic stroke.

A stroke can cause damage to different areas of the brain, and the symptoms that occur due to a stroke are dependent upon the area effected. Each side of the brain is responsible for different thoughts and feelings, causing two completely different results when two people have the same type of stroke but it effects different sides of the brain.

Sub-cortical vascular dementia

This form of vascular dementia is also known as small vessel disease. When damage occurs within the tiny blood vessels located deep in the brain, it causes this form of dementia. The symptoms seen with this form of dementia include; problems walking, clumsiness, inability to make facial expressions, and problems with speech. While some forms of vascular dementia have symptoms that are always present, sub-cortical vascular dementia is unique in that the symptoms come and go, and patients can experience periods without any symptoms at all.

Mixed dementia

Mixed dementia is exactly what its name states. Mixed issues occurred, causing the vascular dementia to show face. Some patients can experience both of the above named problems, leading to a bout of mixed dementia. Additionally, it can be caused by damage to the brain.

Conclusion

While a diagnosis of vascular dementia can be difficult to deal with, there are certain factors you should watch for to either prevent vascular dementia or start early treatment. Serious health problems, lack of physical activity, genes, high consumptions of alcohol, an unhealthy diet, and smoking cigarettes can all lead to it. The best way to prevent this form of dementia is to live a healthy and active lifestyle.

 

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