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
Stage : Second Last Stage Late Vascular Dementia
This is the last but very important out of the vascular dementia stages that I would like to reveal in this entire article and want you and my other readers to know for good.
In case the condition has still progressed, there is not much medicine can do. People in this stage have basically no ability of speaking or communicating. The only thing you can do is to give people who are in the last stage of vascular dementia the possible care and love. They really need the help for all of their activities including eating, walking and using the toilet. This is known as the late vascular dementia.
Each individual with vascular dementia experiences the illness in their own way. However, these signs and symptoms described below often occur in the later stages of most cases.
Communication problems: The people with vascular dementia will experience problems with understanding what is happening around them. They find it hard to communicate with other people. Gradually, they may lose their speech or repeat a few words. However, their expression and body language can give you clues about their feeling. Many people can still return and receive emotional signals after they lose the ability to speak.
There are some things that can put you at risk of suffering from vascular dementia. Some of the risk factors can be controlled such as lifestyle, but some others cannot be controlled such as age and genes. Some risk factors contribute to underlying cardiovascular dementia.
Clots And Clogs: Causes Of Ischemic Stroke
When an artery that carries blood to the brain becomes clogged or blocked, an ischemic stroke can occur. Arteries may be blocked by fatty deposits due to atherosclerosis. Arteries in the neck, particularly the internal carotid arteries, are a common site for atheromas.
Arteries may also be blocked by a blood clot . Blood clots may form on an atheroma in an artery. Clots may also form in the heart of people with a heart disorder. Part of a clot may break off and travel through the bloodstream . It may then block an artery that supplies blood to the brain, such as one of the cerebral arteries.
Strokes can destroy brain tissue by blocking the blood supply to parts of the brain. An area of brain tissue that is destroyed is called an infarct.
Dementia may result from a few large strokes or, more commonly, many small ones. Some of these strokes seem minor or may not even be noticed. However, people may continue to have small strokes, and after enough brain tissue is destroyed, dementia can develop. Thus, vascular dementia may develop before strokes cause other severe symptoms or sometimes even any noticeable symptoms.
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Helping Someone With Vascular Dementia
Caring for a person with vascular dementia can be very stressful for both you and your loved one. You can make the situation easier by providing a stable and supportive environment.
- Modify the caregiving environment to reduce potential stressors that can create agitation and disorientation in a dementia patient.
- Avoid loud or unidentifiable noises, shadowy lighting, mirrors or other reflecting surfaces, garish or highly contrasting colors, and patterned wallpaper.
- Use calming music or play the persons favorite type of music as a way to relax the patient when agitated.
Vascular Dementia : Causes Symptoms And Treatment
All cases of Alzheimers disease are dementias, but not all dementias are Alzheimers disease. Dementia is an umbrella term for a group of symptoms caused by progressive cognitive decline, including memory loss, physical impairment, personality changes and more. Alzheimers disease is the most common form of dementia, occurring in approximately 6080 percent of dementia cases. The second most common form of dementia is vascular dementia.
Vascular dementia has been estimated to occur in approximately 510 percent of singular dementia cases, says Addie Ricci, Executive Director at Bridges®, located in Norwalk, CT. However, its more common in a condition called mixed dementia, which involves a person living with two or more types of dementia at once. Because the symptoms of vascular dementia can be identical to the symptoms of Alzheimers disease, experts believe that vascular dementia is underdiagnosed in many cases.
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Symptoms Of Vascular Dementia
Symptoms of vascular dementia depend on what part of the brain is affected and to what extent. Like Alzheimer’s disease, the symptoms of vascular dementia are often mild for a long time. They may include:
- Problems with short-term memory
- Wandering or getting lost in familiar surroundings
- Laughing or crying at inappropriate times
- Trouble concentrating, planning, or following through on activities
- Trouble managing money
- Hallucinations or delusions
Symptoms that suddenly get worse often signal a stroke. Doctors look for symptoms that progress in noticeable stages to diagnose vascular dementia. Alzheimer’s, by comparison, progresses at a slow, steady pace. Another clue is impaired coordination or balance. In vascular dementia, problems walking or balancing can happen early. With Alzheimer’s, these symptoms usually occur late in the disease.
Genetic Factors And Ethnicity
Researchers think there are some genetic factors behind the common types of vascular dementia, and that these are linked to the underlying cardiovascular diseases. Someone with a family history of stroke, heart disease or diabetes has an increased risk of developing these conditions. Overall, however, the role of genes in the common types of vascular dementia is small.
People from certain ethnic groups are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease and vascular dementia than others. Those from an Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani or Sri Lankan background living in the UK have significantly higher rates of stroke, diabetes and heart disease than white Europeans. Among people of African-Caribbean descent, the risk of diabetes and stroke – but not heart disease – is also higher. These differences are thought to be partly inherited but mainly due to lifestyle factors such as diet, smoking and exercise.
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Can Vascular Dementia Make Alzheimers Worse
Allowing the condition to run its course without intervention can make Alzheimers disease worse. 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.
Is Vascular Dementia A Hereditary Disease
The genes of a person play a lesser role in vascular dementia. Most of the symptoms and cases of vascular dementia spring from major events like a stroke. This is one of the defining factors that differentiate Alzheimers from vascular dementia.
If diseases such as stroke, diabetes, or heart problems run in the family, the risk of developing vascular dementia may also increase.
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Effects Of Vascular Dementia
Vascular dementia affects the brain and the overall psyche of a person. This condition can grow over time, if not treated properly. This disease can occur at any age but is more common in the late fifties and the early sixties of a person. The following are some of the effects of vascular dementia.
Loss of Memory: People suffering from vascular dementia often experience loss of memory. They cannot remember what had happened in the past and often lose track of things that must have happened at a certain stage of their lives. This, however, does not mean that all their life memories get wiped out. It is just that patches of their memories start to fail. This process can worsen with the passing phase of time.
Confused Thought Process as an Effect of Vascular Dementia: Vascular dementia also spoils the ability to think clearly. The victim often cannot think in a clear and logical manner. Reasonability takes a huge backseat and the person often sounds and acts in an irrelevant manner.
Problem with Language: Often, patients suffering from vascular dementia face problems of inability to speak in proper languages. Proper use of language and expression becomes a major challenge for them. This too is one of the common effects of vascular dementia.
What Is The Best Treatment For Vascular Dementia
There are no definite drugs approved by experts for vascular dementia yet. The signs of vascular dementia may call for different forms of treatment. The most efficient way to prevent the condition from worsening is to control the risk factors. This may delay the development of the condition, even though it does not fully take it away.
Some ways to help prevent the risk factors from developing is through any of the following:
- Maintain a healthy blood pressure and cholesterol level.
- Avoid vices such as alcohol and smoking to avoid further damaging the immunity of the body.
- Do physical exercise as often as possible.
- Avoid food and practices that may progress the cause of dementia .
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Vascular Dementia Risk Factors
Some of these risk factors can be controlled, but others cannot.
Age is the strongest risk factor for vascular dementia. A person’s risk of developing the condition doubles approximately every five years over the age of 65. Vascular dementia under the age of 65 is uncommon and affects fewer than 8,000 people in the UK. Men are at slightly higher risk of developing vascular dementia than women.
What do we mean by risk factors for dementia?
A risk factor is something that affects your chance of developing dementia. Find out more about what a risk factor is and how risks for dementia are identified.
Symptoms And Disease Course
Symptoms differ depending on what part and how much of the brain is affected, and can overlap with those of other types of dementia. Symptoms are likely to be more gradual and less dramatic in multi-infarct than in post-stroke dementia. For example, in multi-infarct dementia a gradual decline in some aspects of speech and language may be noticed, whereas immediately following a stroke there can be a sudden change in speech.
Vascular dementia does generally progress, but the speed and pattern of cognitive decline, motor skills slowing, and mood changes can vary. Some individuals may experience memory loss, whereas others may exhibit changes primarily in mood and behavior.
Like all dementias, individuals in later stages will show overall cognitive changes and will depend on others for care. Symptoms common in both post-stroke and multi-infarct type dementia can include:
- confusion and difficulty problem-solving
- changes in mood including loss of interest in regular activities
- trouble finding the right word
- motor symptoms including clumsiness and slow or unsteady gait disturbance.
Family caregivers may find it difficult to know how to provide help when symptoms are so variable. Getting a definitive diagnosis will make it easier to provide care now and in the future.
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How Does Vascular Dementia Affect Thinking
In vascular dementia, thinking skill changes sometimes happen suddenly according to strokes that block the majority of brain blood vessels. Thinking problems also may look like mild changes, which worsen gradually due to multiple minor strokes or other health conditions that affect blood vessels, resulting in cumulative damage.
Vascular Dementia: What Is It And What Causes It
Vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia , affecting around 150,000 people in the UK. Find out more about vascular dementia and what causes it.
Along with all our usual information on dementia, we have more advice to support you during coronavirus.
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Stage : Middle Stage Vascular Dementia
With vascular dementia, the disease usually becomes worse after some time, particularly with the lack of proper treatment.
After finding out the possible vascular dementia prognosis and going through the initial stages of the disease, a person then moves on to the next phase of the illness.
At this stage, the symptoms that you experienced during the initial malady start to become more intense.
You might even find that you need more assistance with your day to day life because your level of independence starts to decline.
With most people, getting help from family and friends is still sufficient at this point without the need for professional home care. For some, it may be time to step down from responsible duties at the workplace.
Help is necessary for more daily tasks
Many can handle a few house chores here and there, but may still need some support with a few areas in their lives.
Most of the time, individuals at this stage cannot fully complete jobs. You may find that something as simple as counting from one to ten becomes an uphill task for most.
Most individuals with vascular dementia will start pulling away from social life, knowing that the symptoms are becoming more visible at this stage.
This is known as the stepwise or step-like progression pattern.
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Vascular Contributions To Cognitive Impairment And Dementia
Vascular contributions to cognitive impairment and dementia are conditions arising from stroke and other vascular brain injuries that cause significant changes to memory, thinking, and behavior. Cognition and brain function can be significantly affected by the size, location, and number of brain injuries. Two forms of VCIDvascular dementia and vascular cognitive impairment arise as a result of risk factors that similarly increase the risk for cerebrovascular disease , including atrial fibrillation , high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
Symptoms of VCID can begin suddenly and progress or subside during one’s lifetime. VCID can occur along with Alzheimer’s disease. People with VCID almost always have abnormalities in the brain on magnetic resonance imaging scans. These abnormalities include evidence of prior strokes, often small and asymptomatic, as well as diffuse changes in the brain’s “white matter”the connecting “wires” of the brain that are critical for relaying messages between brain regions. Microscopic brain examination shows thickening of blood vessel walls called arteriosclerosis and thinning or loss of components of the white matter.
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Deterrence And Patient Education
Diagnosis of vascular dementia allows physicians to provide patients and caregivers with valuable counseling regarding secondary prevention, safety, advance care planning, and caregiver burden. Secondary prevention discussions may focus on a healthy diet, exercise, cognitive stimulation, and socialization. As healthcare providers, our goal is to ensure safety while optimizing independence.
Mechanism Of Brain Cell Death
When a reduction in blood flow lasting seconds occurs, the brain tissue suffers ischemia, or inadequate blood supply. If the interruption of blood flow is not restored in minutes, the tissue suffers infarction followed by tissue death. When the low cerebral blood flow persists for a longer duration, this may develop into an infarction in the border zones . In more severe instances, global hypoxia-ischemia causes widespread brain injury leading to a severe cognitive sequelae called hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.
An ischemic cascade occurs where an energetic molecular problem arises due to lack of oxygen and nutrients. The cascade results in decreased production of adenosine triphosphate , which is a high-energy molecule needed for cells in the brain to function. Consumption of ATP continues in spite of insufficient production, this causes total levels of ATP to decrease and lactate acidosis to become established . The downstream mechanisms of the ischemic cascade thus begins. Ion pumps no longer transport Ca2+ out of cell, this triggers release of glutamate, which in turn allows calcium into cell walls. In the end the apoptosis pathway is initiated and cell death occurs.
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How Do They Test For Vascular Dementia
The most evident way of testing for vascular dementia is through the symptoms experienced by the patient. There are no specific clinical tests to confirm vascular dementia. Experts rely highly on symptoms displayed to diagnose the condition.
Medical history will also help confirm the diagnosis. Tests confirm the severity of the symptoms.
- Blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar tests may indicate heart and blood vessel conditions.
- Thyroid disorders and vitamin deficiencies may be causes of memory loss or confusion and may trigger cases of vascular dementia
- Neurological exams may determine brain activity and brain health by checking the reflexes, ability of the senses, coordination, and balance.
- CT and MRI scans may be used to pinpoint abnormalities in brain activity.
Causes Effects Of Vascular Dementia & Its Treatments
Dementia is a health condition that makes a person less active and inept to perform several day-to-day activities. This article discusses the causes, effects and possible treatments of vascular dementia.
Dementia may be related to several factors and no specific reasons for dementia have been found yet. The affected persons brain functions deteriorate with time. In this condition, the victims undergo problems related to remembering, planning and even coordinating things and movements. Vascular dementia is a type of dementia and the second most occurring type of dementia, the first being Alzheimers disease. Records have stated that this condition affects millions of aged people all over the world.
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How To Reduce Risk
There is evidence to suggest maintaining a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of developing vascular dementia after all, what is good for the heart is also good for the brain. This involves eating a balanced diet with a good intake of fruit and vegetables and minimising alcohol intake. Stopping smoking and getting plenty of sleep also has long-term benefits.
Exercise is known to improve blood supply, reducing the risk of heart disease and vascular problems which are factors, particularly in vascular dementia.
Regular health checks and management of health conditions such as diabetes raised cholesterol and blood pressure will also aid in the reduction of risk.
For help and support around dementia, please contact Dementia UKs Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline on 0800 888 6678 or .
You can also find further information at dementiauk.org