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HomeExclusiveCan You Slow Down Vascular Dementia

Can You Slow Down Vascular Dementia

What Are The Types Of Dementia

HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF DEMENTIA (and slow down dementia for your loved one)

Dementias are often broken down into two main categories — Alzheimer type or non-Alzheimer type. Dementias of the Alzheimers disease type are defined by the symptoms of memory loss plus impairment in other brain functions, such as language function inability to move the muscles associated with speech or perception, visual or other inabilities to recognize speech or name objects .

Non-Alzheimer dementias include the frontotemporal lobar degenerations, which are further broken down into two main types. One type primarily affects speech. An example is primary progressive aphasia syndromes. The other type is defined by changes in behavior, including lack of feeling, emotion, interest or concern loss of a social filter personality change and loss of executive functions . In both of these frontotemporal lobe dementias, memory loss is relatively mild until later in the course of the disease.

Other non-Alzheimers disease dementias include vascular disorders , dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson’s dementia, and normal pressure hydrocephalus.

Fca Fact And Tip Sheets

A listing of all FCA fact and tip sheets is available online at www.caregiver.org/fact-sheets.

The National Stroke Association provides education, information and referral, and research on stroke for families, health care professionals, and others interested in or affected by stroke.

American Stroke AssociationThe American Stroke Association offers information and sponsors programs and support groups throughout the nation for stroke survivors and family members.

American Heart AssociationThe American Heart Association provides public health education to community members, healthcare professionals, and to lawmakers and policymakers.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokewww.ninds.nih.govThe National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke supports and performs basic, translational, and clinical neuroscience research through grants-in-aid, contracts, scientific meetings, and through research in its own laboratories, and clinics.

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Do Dementia Medications Work For Vascular Dementia

Cholinesterase inhibitors, also known as AChE inhibitors, are drugs that are used to help with the symptoms of Alzheimers disease.These medications have been tried in vascular dementia, but they do not work as well as they do in Alzheimers disease. They also have side effects. Sometimes doctors will try using these medications in vascular dementia, especially if they think a patient has a mix of vascular and Alzheimers disease.

Memantine is a dementia drug that is only recommended for people with Alzheimers.

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You Can Live With Dementia

If you want to know how to slow dementia, then please follow these tips.

As of now, there is no cure, but that doesnt mean there wont be one in the future. In the meantime, you can help your loved one stave off symptoms.

If you want to learn more about the signs of dementia or if you think an assisted living center might be right for you, please contact our experts today.

What Medications Are Available To Treat Dementia

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Drugs approved for the most common form of dementia, Alzheimers disease, are discussed below. These drugs are also used to treat people with some of the other forms of dementia.

  • cholinesterase inhibitors
  • NMDA receptor antagonist memantine

These two classes of drugs affect different chemical processes in the brain. Both classes have been shown to provide some benefit in improving or stabilizing memory function in some patients. Although none of these drugs appear to stop the progression of the underlying disease, they may slow it down.

If other medical conditions are causing dementia or co-exist with dementia, the appropriate drugs used to treat those specific conditions are prescribed.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Dementia

Early symptoms of dementia include :

  • Forgetting recent events or information
  • Repeating comments or questions over a very short period of time
  • Misplacing commonly used items or placing them in usual spots
  • Not knowing the date or time
  • Having difficulty coming up with the right words
  • Experiencing a change in mood, behavior or interests

Signs that dementia is getting worse include:

  • Ability to remember and make decisions further declines
  • Talking and finding the right words becomes more difficult
  • Daily complex tasks, such as brushing teeth, making a cup of coffee, working a tv remote, cooking, and paying bills become more challenging
  • Rational thinking and behavior and ability to problem solve lessen
  • Sleeping pattern change
  • Anxiety, frustration, confusion, agitation, suspiciousness, sadness and/or depression increase
  • More help with activities of daily living grooming, toileting, bathing, eating is needed
  • Hallucinations may develop

The symptoms mentioned above are general symptoms of dementia. Each person diagnosed with dementia has different symptoms, depending on what area of the brain is damaged. Additional symptoms and/or unique symptoms occur with specific types of dementia.

Stage : Second Last Stage Middle Vascular Dementia

Individuals in this severe stage begin to lose memory and usually recollect things happened and things they did in their past. They become more delusional and even cannot remember close friends and family members names. Some bodily changes also turn up including incontinence, difficulty with muscle and motor functions and difficulty with controlling bladder flow. They need assistance to do daily activities and finish tasks. These signs and symptoms are enough to diagnose middle vascular dementia.

Weight loss: Almost all of the people with vascular dementia lose weight in the later stages of this disorder, although sometimes some people eat so much and put on weight. In fact, weight loss can affect their immune system, making the people fight infections more difficultly. It can also increase the possibility of falling. Ensure that they consume enough food and water. They can need encouragement with drinking and eating. Besides, problems with swallowing and chewing are common as their muscles no longer work properly.

Problems with continence: Many people cannot control their bladder and bowels. This can occur most or all of the time.

This is also a stage one on the list of vascular dementia stages that people should not miss out but consider changing their lifestyles to prevent themselves from getting this disorder.

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Types Of Vascular Dementia

Vascular dementia can be divided into two types: post-stroke dementia and multi-infarct dementia .

POST-STROKE DEMENTIASymptoms are most obvious when they arise suddenly following a stroke, resulting in the blood supply to the brain being suddenly interrupted due to a blocked artery. This disruption can lead to damage or death of brain tissue. Not all stroke victims develop dementia it is estimated that approximately 20% of stroke patients develop post-stroke dementia within six months. Post-stroke dementia can result in physical symptoms and/or problems with vision or speech. Symptoms depend on what area and how much of the brain is affected.

MULTI-INFARCT DEMENTIAThis type of dementia results from a series of mini-strokes in vessels located deep within the brain . These mini-strokes may not lead to any sudden obvious onset of symptoms however, even these âsilent brain infarctionsâ still increase the risk of dementia, a result of disease of the brainâs blood vessels. Over time, the effects of this damage can result in dementia. Progression is referred to as âstep-wiseâ because symptoms worsen after any additional mini-strokes and then remain the same for a time. Symptoms that may develop include changes in reasoning and other thinking skills such as memory, as well as mood and behavior problems, including depression and apathy.

Help And Advice For Carers

Slowing down the progression of dementia

If you care for someone with dementia, you may find it helpful to read more about:

Carer’s breaks and respite care this can allow you to take breaks from caring

Benefits for carers such as allowances and tax credits that may be available

Page last reviewed: 05 March 2020 Next review due: 05 March 2023

Also Check: Alzheimer’s Association Colors

Caregiving And Vascular Dementia

There are many ways to help your family member or friend maximize his or her independence and cope with the cognitive symptoms of vascular dementia. Unlike Alzheimerâs disease, individuals with vascular dementia might better remember things in their daily life when repetition and context are provided. Likewise, simple cues can jog recall when remembering is difficult for the person. Structured and predictable routines can be helpful. Assistive devices and technology, such as pill boxes or electronic reminders on a phone, might be useful as well.

Breaking down complexânow overwhelmingâtasks into smaller and more manageable steps will make them easier to complete. Itâs also useful to simplify explanations and directions. As the disease progresses, even tasks learned years ago, like shaving or brushing teeth, may require step-by-step directions.

Problems with attention can make focusing and concentrating more difficult for your family member. Ensuring an environment that is not overly busy or noisy will make it easier to pay attention. Multi-tasking can be particularly difficult. Individuals with vascular dementia might have an easier time completing tasks when they focus on a single activity at a time, instead of dividing their attention between multiple tasks.

Is There A Cure Can Vascular Dementia Be Treated

  • Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for vascular dementia or for reversing the changes in the brain caused by vascular dementia. Management includes identifying the underlying cause and treating it to prevent further strokes. This may help slow down the progression of vascular dementia.

Treatment includes medications for maintaining blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar in the normal range. Treatment also focuses on preventing clots, incorporating lifestyle strategies such as regular exercise, adopting the Mediterranean diet, avoiding smoking, minimizing alcohol, and engaging in physiotherapy and rehabilitation to regain strength.

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Stress Reduction As A Dementia Prevention Strategy: Role Of Meditation

Psychosocial stressors, most notably chronic and perceived stress, have been associated with lower levels of cognitive performance across several domains and with faster cognitive decline in both healthy adults and subjects with MCI. Furthermore, chronic stress may indirectly influence cognitive function by moderating the impact of other risk factors on cognitive function for example, metabolic risk factors strongly accelerate the 8-year cognitive decline in chronically stressed caregivers of a relative with dementia. These observations in human studies are congruent with a large body of evidence in rodent and other vertebrate models indicating that chronic stress can impair cognitive performance. Notably, this negative influence is observed when stressors are unpredictable, whereas mild predictable stress may actually enhance cognitive performance. Furthermore, the impact of chronic stress can manifest long after stressor cessation for instance, stress exposure during adolescence may impair spatial memory when mice age. The effects of stress on cognitive function may be mediated by several mechanisms, including the accumulation of A in the brain,, the induction of brain inflammation, epigenetic modifications mediated by stress-induced glucocorticoid deregulation, and changes in brain structures with central roles in cognition, such as the hippocampus. Some of these effects, however, may vary depending on the timing and duration of stress exposure.,

Prognosis For People With Vascular Dementia

Understanding Vascular Dementia

If the conditions that cause vascular dementia go untreated, the prognosis is not good. A person with vascular dementia may seem to improve for periods of time until another stroke takes away more brain function, memory, and independence. Eventually, untreated vascular dementia usually ends in death from stroke, heart disease, or infection.

Although vascular dementia is a serious condition, catching it early and preventing further damage are the best medicine. People with vascular dementia can work with their doctors and families to detect and manage the condition.

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Other Treatment And Support

Supporting a person with vascular dementia to live well includes treatment for symptoms, support to cope with lost abilities, and help to keep up enjoyable activities. For someone who has had a stroke or has physical difficulties, treatment will also include rehabilitation.

The drugs that are routinely prescribed for Alzheimer’s disease do not have benefits for vascular dementia, and are not recommended for it. These drugs may, however, be prescribed to treat mixed dementia .

If someone is depressed or anxious, talking therapies or drug treatments may also be tried. Counselling may also help the person adjust to the diagnosis.

Talking therapies for people with dementia

Talking therapies give people the chance to speak in confidence to a trained professional about problems or issues that are causing them concern.

Tests For Vascular Dementia

There’s no single test for vascular dementia.

The tests that are needed to make a diagnosis include:

  • an assessment of symptoms for example, whether these are typical symptoms of vascular dementia
  • a full medical history, including asking about a history of conditions related to vascular dementia, such as strokes or high blood pressure
  • an assessment of mental abilities this will usually involve several tasks and questions
  • a brain scan, such as an MRI scan or CT scan, to look for any changes that have happened in your brain

Find out more about the tests used to diagnose dementia.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Vascular Dementia

The symptoms of vascular dementia depend on the location and amount of brain tissue involved. Vascular dementia symptoms may appear suddenly after a stroke, or gradually over time. Symptoms may get worse after another stroke, a heart attack, or major surgery. These are signs and symptoms of vascular dementia

  • Increased trouble carrying out normal daily activities because of problems with concentration, communication, or inability to carry out instructions
  • Memory problems, although short-term memory may not be affected
  • Confusion, which may increase at night
  • Stroke symptoms, such as sudden weakness and trouble with speech
  • Personality changes
  • Mood changes, such as depression or irritability
  • Stride changes when walking too fast, shuffling steps
  • Problems with movement and/or balance
  • Urinary problems, such as urgency or incontinence
  • Tremors

What Causes Dementia

Can Dementia Be Reversed or Slowed Down By What We Eat?

Dementia is caused by damage to the brain. There are many causes of dementia. The causes of dementia can be generally grouped as follows:

  • Degenerative neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal lobar dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson’s disease dementia and Huntington’s disease
  • Vascular disorders, such as multi-infarct dementia, which is caused by multiple strokes in the brain
  • Infections that affect the central nervous system, such as HIV dementia complex and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a quickly worsening and fatal disease that is recognized by its symptoms of dementia and muscle twitching and spasm
  • Long term drug or alcohol use
  • Depression
  • Certain types of hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid within the brain that can result from developmental abnormalities, infections, injury, or brain tumors

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What Are The Causes

The most common cause of vascular dementia is narrowing and blockage of the small blood vessels deep inside the brain. The medical name for this is subcortical vascular dementia, or ‘small vessel disease’.

Most cases of small vessel disease result from inheriting certain genes from your parents, so it’s often seen running in families. Persistent high blood pressure is thought to play a role and may worsen the disease.

Because of the influence of high blood pressure, vascular dementia may be partly preventable. Managing high blood pressure, losing excess weight and stopping smoking may reduce your risk of developing the disease, or at least slow its progression.

How Are Rpds Treated

Treatment depends on the type of RPD that was diagnosed. For example, if the RPD is the result of cancer or a hormone imbalance, treatments that target these specific conditions may help treat the RPD. Unfortunately, for many causes of RPD, there is no cure available. For these cases, however, we can sometimes treat the symptoms, make patients more comfortable and improve their quality of life.

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When To See Your Gp

See your GP if you think you have early symptoms of dementia, especially if you’re over 65.

If it’s found at an early stage, treatment may be able to stop vascular dementia getting worse, or at least slow it down.

If you’re worried about someone else, encourage them to see their GP. You could suggest that you go with them.

Your GP can do some simple checks to try to find the cause of your symptoms. They can refer you to a memory assessment service or a specialist for further tests if needed.

Evidence Linking Major Depressive Disorder And Cognitive Decline

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While the sequence and exact role of these pathogenic events remain to be determined, the findings to date suggest that timely identification and treatment of MDD, which is a highly prevalent disorder impacting every age and population, may substantially influence cognitive functioning in late life. RCTs examining this question show that effective treatment of MDD may result in improvements across several cognitive domains, including attention, psychomotor speed, and executive function. Most RCTs reporting beneficial effects have utilized selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors,,, whereas negative findings have been reported in observational studies, and studies utilizing tricyclic antidepressants. The identification and treatment of MDD may be more effective when targeted at high-risk subjects for example, untreated depression has been shown to increase risk for negative cognitive outcomes following stressful life experiences.

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Pillar #: Stress Management

Chronic or persistent stress can take a heavy toll on the brain, leading to shrinkage in a key memory area, hampering nerve cell growth, and increasing the risk of Alzheimers disease and dementia. Yet simple stress management tools can minimize its harmful effects and protect your brain.

Breathe! Quiet your stress response with deep, abdominal breathing. Restorative breathing is powerful, simple, and free!

Schedule daily relaxation activities. Keeping stress under control requires regular effort. Learning relaxation techniques such as meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, or yoga can help you unwind and reverse the damaging effects of stress.

Nourish inner peace. Regular meditation, prayer, reflection, and religious practice may immunize you against the damaging effects of stress.

Make fun a priority. All work and no play is not good for your stress levels or your brain. Make time for leisure activities that bring you joy, whether it be stargazing, playing the piano, or working on your bike.

Keep your sense of humor. This includes the ability to laugh at yourself. The act of laughing helps your body fight stress.

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