Treatments For Vascular Dementia
There’s currently;no cure for vascular dementia and there’s no way to reverse any loss of brain cells that happened before;the condition;was diagnosed.
But treatment can sometimes help slow down vascular dementia.
Treatment aims to tackle the underlying cause, which;may reduce the speed at which brain cells are lost.
This will often involve:
- taking medicines, such as those used to treat high blood pressure, lower cholesterol;or prevent;blood clots
Is There Treatment Available
While no treatment can reverse damage that has already been done, treatment to prevent additional strokes is very important. To prevent strokes, medicines to control high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes can be prescribed. A healthy diet, exercise and avoidance of smoking and excessive alcohol also lessen the risk of further strokes. Sometimes aspirin or other drugs are prescribed to prevent clots from forming in the small blood vessels.
Drugs can also be prescribed to relieve restlessness or depression or to help the person with dementia to sleep better. In some cases surgery known as carotid endarterectomy may be recommended to remove blockage in the carotid artery, the main blood vessel to the brain. Recent research suggests that cholinesterase inhibitor medications such as Donepezil and Galantamine , which are helpful for some people with Alzheimer’s disease, may also be of some benefit to some people with Vascular dementia. However, the evidence is not yet as clear or compelling as that for the use of these medications with Alzheimer’s disease.
Support is available for the person with Vascular dementia, their families and carers. This support can make a positive difference to managing the condition. Dementia Australia provides support, information, education and counselling for people affected by dementia. Up-to-date information about drug treatments is also available from Dementia Australia.
End Of Life Dementia Care And Covid
Older adults and people with serious underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Older adults also have the highest rates of dementia. Given the risks that older adults face from both COVID-19 and dementia, its important to understand how to protect yourself and your loved one. Find more information about dementia and COVID-19 from the CDC.
When a dementia like Alzheimers disease is first diagnosed, if everyone understands that there is no cure, then plans for the end of life can be made before thinking and speaking abilities fail and the person with Alzheimers can no longer legally complete documents like advance directives.
End-of-life care decisions are more complicated for caregivers if the dying person has not expressed the kind of care he or she would prefer. Someone newly diagnosed with Alzheimers disease might not be able to imagine the later stages of the disease.
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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.
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.;
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The Seven Stages Of Dementia
One of the most difficult things to hear about dementia is that, in most cases, dementia is irreversible and incurable. However, with an early diagnosis and proper care, the progression of some forms of dementia can be managed and slowed down. The cognitive decline that accompanies dementia conditions does not happen all at once – the progression of dementia can be divided into seven distinct, identifiable stages.
Learning about the stages of dementia can help with identifying signs and symptoms early on, as well as assisting sufferers and caretakers in knowing what to expect in further stages. The earlier dementia is diagnosed, the sooner treatment can start.
What Affects The Speed Of Progression
The speed at which dementia progresses varies a lot from person to person because of factors such as:
- the type of dementia for example, Alzheimers disease tends to progress more slowly than the other types
- a persons age for example, Alzheimers disease generally progresses more slowly in older people than in younger people;
- other long-term health problems dementia tends to progress more quickly if the person is living with other conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes or high blood pressure, particularly if these are not well managed
- delirium a medical condition that starts suddenly .
There is no way to be sure how quickly a persons dementia will progress. Some people with dementia will need support very soon after their diagnosis. In contrast, others will stay independent for several years.
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Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Precursor To Dementia
Many people experience a certain amount of normal cognitive decline as they age ;needing extra time to connect a persons name with their face, say, or to recall a computer password.
Mild cognitive impairment is more significant than that, involving lapses in memory, language, thinking, and judgment that are noticeable to the person and perhaps his or her own family and close friends yet not serious enough to interfere with everyday life.
About 15 to 20 percent of people age 65 or older are estimated to have mild cognitive impairment.
Researchers believe that mild cognitive impairment may be a precursor to dementia. A meta-analysis of 41 studies, cited by the Alzheimers Association, found that among people with MCI who were tracked for five years or longer, an average of 38 percent developed dementia.
Yet some people with mild cognitive impairment never get worse, and a few actually get better. Researchers are working to understand why.
Signs of mild cognitive impairment may include:
- Forgetting things or important events
- Losing your train of thought or the thread of a conversation, book, or movie
- Having trouble making your way around a familiar place
- Becoming more impulsive or showing poor judgment
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Support For Dementia Caregivers At The End Of Life
Caring for people with Alzheimers or other dementias at home can be demanding and stressful for the family caregiver. Depression is a problem for some family caregivers, as is fatigue, because many feel they are always on call. Family caregivers may have to cut back on work hours or leave work altogether because of their caregiving responsibilities.
Many family members taking care of a person with advanced dementia at home feel relief when death happensfor themselves and for the person who died. It is important to realize such feelings are normal. Hospicewhether used at home or in a facility gives family caregivers needed support near the end of life, as well as help with their grief, both before and after their family member dies.
The Benefits Of An In
Finding the time to care for a loved one with dementia can be challenging, especially when you have other responsibilities like work and family. By working with an in-home care agency, you and your loved one can reap the benefits of having a trained and experienced caregiver available when you are not able to be there. One of the biggest advantages of acquiring in-home care is your loved ones ability to stay in the home. Remaining in a familiar environment often provides individuals with dementia with security and peace of mind.
Stages Of Dementia: The 3
- There are different forms of dementia; Alzheimers is the most common
- Dementia progresses in three stages: Mild , Moderate , and Severe
- The 7-stage model of dementia which breaks down the cognitive decline is useful for Alzheimers
- The Clinical Dementia Rating Scale can be used to assess other forms of dementia
- The progression of dementia can vary widely by the type of dementia and by person
- Understanding the stages of dementia can help guide care needs as the disease progresses
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What Causes Vascular Dementia
Vascular dementia occurs when vessels that supply blood to the brain become blocked or narrowed. Strokes take place when the supply of blood carrying oxygen to the brain is suddenly cut off. However, not all people with stroke will develop vascular dementia.
Vascular dementia can occur over time as “silent” strokes pile up. Quite often, vascular dementia draws attention to itself only when the impact of so many strokes adds up to significant disability. Avoiding and controlling risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, and high cholesterol can help curb the risk of vascular dementia.
Catching the condition early also helps limit the impact and severity of vascular dementia. Early detection requires an awareness of risk factors and, more importantly, efforts to keep them under control. Anyone who suspects vascular dementia should talk with their doctor.
Frontotemporal Dementia: Early Symptoms Vary
In contrast to Alzheimers, people at the early stages of frontotemporal disorders generally dont have trouble with short-term memory. But depending on the type of frontotemporal issue, early symptoms may vary.
For the type of frontotemporal disorder that initially affects the part of the brain that controls behavior, people may behave rudely or appear oblivious to social norms, seem easily distracted, or appear uncharacteristically selfish or unfeeling.
For the less-common type of frontotemporal disorder that initially affects the part of the brain that controls language skills, the early stage includes trouble attaching names to things, comprehending words, or speaking fluently.
But as dementia becomes progressively worse, people who are experiencing behavior changes will begin having language difficulty, and vice versa.
As frontotemporal disorders progress, symptoms will begin to resemble those of Alzheimers, though agitation and aggression generally develop before short-term memory loss and other symptoms of later-stage Alzheimers, such as trouble judging distance and difficulty seeing objects in three dimensions.
On average people with frontotemporal disorders live for six to eight years after the onset of symptoms.
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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Vascular Dementia Life Expectancy
All forms of dementia shorten life expectancy. However, it is difficult to predict how quickly a person with vascular dementia will decline. In general, the vascular dementia survival rate is lower than the survival rate and life expectancy with Alzheimers disease. This is primarily due to the underlying causes of vascular dementia.
The average vascular dementia life expectancy after diagnosis is about five years. Some research suggests it may be shorter, at three years, in people who have the disease due to stroke. Its common for people with vascular dementia to die from a stroke or another event related to the underlying causes, such as a .
How Is An Rpd Diagnosed
RPD can be difficult to diagnose, so it is often necessary to see a doctor who specializes in these conditions. The doctor might ask about the patients progression of symptoms, any similar illnesses in biological relatives or any recent possible exposures . The doctor may request some laboratory testing, such as blood, urine and cerebrospinal fluid ; brain imaging and/or an electroencephalogram . The information gathered by the physician and tests might help to determine the cause of disease.
Stage 5: Moderate Dementia
Patients in stage 5 need some assistance in order to carry out their daily lives. The main sign for stage 5 dementia is the inability to remember major details such as the name of a close family member or a home address. Patients may become disoriented about the time and place, have trouble making decisions, and forget basic information about themselves, such as a telephone number or address.
While moderate dementia can interfere with basic functioning, patients at this stage do not need assistance with basic functions such as using the bathroom or eating. Patients also still have the ability to remember their own names and generally the names of spouses and children.
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Vascular Dementia Prognosis And Progression
This extensive overview of vascular dementia prognosis and progression gives you a better understanding of the development of the disease during the early, middle and late stages.
Vascular dementia is a condition that occurs when a particular part of your brain does not get enough nutrients and blood.
How To Identify Your Loved Ones Current Stage
The Clinical Dementia Rating Scale is designed to evaluate the stages of dementia. It uses a 5-point scale to assess the severity of symptoms as they affect the persons ability to function in six different cognitive categories . Although created for those with probable Alzheimers disease, the CDR can also be used to assess other forms of dementia . Administering the CDR can help healthcare providers gain a better sense of the severity of dementia in order to create an appropriate care plan. If you are interested in having the CDR administered, you should talk to your doctor.
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Vascular Dementia Is One Of The Most Wide
When these cognitive problems affect a persons daily life, it is a strong indication that they have vascular dementia.
Diagnosis of vascular dementia is sometimes difficult.
This is because there are no tests that show that an individual has the disease. Doctors will, however, study the symptoms that a person is displaying to confirm whether they have the condition or not.
Thyroid and vitamin deficiencies, side effects of medications, or an array of infections may also cause symptoms.
Stage 4: Early Stage Moderate Vascular Dementia
This is also one of the most important vascular dementia stages that everyone should not look down but watch out carefully for good! This stage is the only one wherein the signs and symptoms are clear for the first time. This is because the condition has advanced to the 4th stage and is very clear and evident. People suffering from vascular dementia in this stage tend to stay away from their family and friends. They find it hard to frame sentences and maintain a conversation.
This stage will last for 2-3 years before everything gets more serious if there is no treatment. The most effective way to treat this condition is to stimulate the individual who are suffering from this disorder to join a community workshop. At this place, he or she will be instructed to play games, which have effect on sharpening the motor and memory skills. In this stage, individual will be diagnosed with moderate vascular dementia.
This is actually also one out of the vascular dementia stages that a lot of people in the world have been diagnosed and have been trying to minimize the damages.
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Life Expectancy And Vascular Dementia
Repeated small strokes can damage the brain and cause vascular dementia. Its the second most common cause of the disease. The pattern of disease progression is different from the gradual deterioration of Alzheimers disease. The symptoms may be steady for a while, then suddenly get worse followed by a further period of stability. This reflects times when blood clots interrupt the blood supply to the brain, causing damage.
Because people with vascular dementia is linked to strokes, people affected often have other illnesses and may have worse general health. Research suggests that the average life expectancy is around four years. However, sudden or severe deterioration can happen when there is a further stroke.