Living With Vascular Dementia
Vascular Dementia has no cure. It is a progressive disease that worsens over time however, the rate at which it progresses varies by individuals living with Vascular Dementia.
Some individuals living with Vascular Dementia may require a high level of care due to losing their mental and physical abilities. It is usual for family members to care for their loved ones with Vascular Dementia when symptoms first develop. As Vascular Dementia progresses, more specialized care may be required.
There are respite programs, adult day care programs, and long-term care facilities specializing in caring for those living with Dementia.
Talk with your healthcare provider to recommend the right caregiver option for your situation.
Discussing Dementia Symptoms With Dr Alex Bailey
In a new episode of the Age Space Podcast, we talk to Dr Alex Bailey, an old age psychiatrist working in Westminster, sharing his thoughts and advice on dementia. This includes identifying the early signs of dementia, details of memory services, supporting those with dementia to live well, psychological therapies, supporting carers and much more. Listen to the dementia explained podcast.
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Are There Medicines To Treat Dementia
There is no cure for dementia yet, but there are medicines that can help treat some of the symptoms of dementia. There are medications that may improve memory for a period of time. There are also medications that are effective for treating mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression, which commonly occur in people with dementia. It is also important that your provider carefully evaluates any medicine someone with dementia is taking, because some medications may make memory symptoms worse.
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What Causes Frontotemporal Dementia
Scientists are still trying to uncover why Frontotemporal Dementia occurs. Researchers have determined that some subtypes of Frontotemporal Dementia are caused due to mutations in several genes. Some individuals living with Frontotemporal Dementia have Pick bodies in their brain cells which are tiny structures. These Pick bodies have abnormal amounts of proteins.
Frontotemporal Dementia is more likely to run in families than other forms of Dementia. About of people living with Frontotemporal Dementia have a family history of Dementia.
Dementia Symptoms In Your Elderly Parents
Dementia Symptoms in Your Elderly Parents: What to Watch For
No one knows your parents personalities, hobbies, or quirks like you do. If you notice unusual behavior or experience a persistent feeling that something is off, theres a good chance it is. Aging is a well-known risk factor for Alzheimers disease and other forms of dementia. In fact, the risk of developing Alzheimers disease doubles every five years in people 65 and older. If you are looking for the best dementia care centers then you can consider dementia care facilities from https://www.careconciergene.com/memory-carefor your elderly parents.
Learning to spot key dementia symptoms in aging parents and documenting the early stages of dementia can make a big difference. Your observations would provide helpful insight to doctors, which can lead to a quicker and more accurate diagnosis.
The warning signs may vary by individual, but the following eight dementia behaviors are indicators for you to watch for.
1. Difficulty remembering or trouble to find words
Its normal for older adults to have lapses in thought here and there. But showing signs of forgetfulness every day is an early warning sign of dementia. If your mom is consistently losing track of her thoughts mid-sentence, or if your dad has trouble finding words in casual conversations, these are dementia signs to note.
2. Inability to learn something new
3. Struggling to manage finances
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What Is The Cause Of Vascular Dementia
Vascular Dementia occurs when the vessels that supply blood to the brain are blocked or narrowed. Strokes are a common cause because the blood carrying oxygen to the brain is suddenly cut off. While this is a common cause, note that just because you have a stroke does not mean that you will develop Vascular Dementia.
Vascular Dementia can happen suddenly or after major surgery or develop slowly.
Other things that cause Vascular Dementia include:
- Blood clotting
- Bleeding from Ruptured Blood Vessels
- Damage to Blood Vessels from things like atherosclerosis, infections, high blood pressure, autoimmune disorder
- Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy . Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy is a genetic disorder that usually leads to Vascular Dementia. It is passed down from one parent, affecting the blood vessels in the brains white matter. You will start to see this in your mid-30s, with migraines, seizures, and severe depression as the main symptoms. Other symptoms may not develop until later in life.
Behavioral Variant Of Frontotemporal Dementia Symptoms
Two-thirds of the individuals living with Frontotemporal Dementia are diagnosed with the Behavioral Variant. The first symptoms seen in this variant are in individuals personality and behaviors. Symptoms may include:
- Lose their Inhibitions. Individuals living with Frontotemporal Dementia may behave inappropriately socially. This may include activating out or being impulsive. They may also make tactless or inappropriate comments about others and their appearances.
- Apathy. Those living with Frontotemporal Dementia may lose motivation in people and things. Note that those with Frontotemporal Dementia are not sad when this occurs.
- Loss of sympathy and empathy. Those living with Frontotemporal Dementia are not as responsive to others and their needs. They lose social interest, may show reduced humor, or laugh at other peoples problems. Often those living with Frontotemporal Dementia may appear to others as selfish.
- Have repetitive, compulsive, or ritualized behaviors. Individuals living with Frontotemporal Dementia may start to use repeated phrases or gestures. They may also tend to hoard things or become obsessive about timekeeping.
- Cravings Those living with Frontotemporal Dementia may crave sweet, fatty foods, even carbs. They may lack table manners and may lack the ability to know when to stop eating or drinking alcohol.
- Struggle with planning, organizing, and making decisions. This will affect individuals ability to work and manage their finances as well.
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What Is The Prognosis If You Are Living With Vascular Dementia
Regardless of the type of Dementia that you are living with, it is a progressive disease that worsens over time. Dementia affects individuals differently. While some living with Vascular Dementia may see a prolonged decline, others may decline at a much more rapid pace.
Currently, there is no cure for Vascular Dementia. You can do things that may reduce your risk factors or help slow its progression.
What Is Mixed Dementia
It is common for people with dementia to have more than one form of dementia. For example, many people with dementia have both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.
Researchers who have conducted autopsy studies have looked at the brains of people who had dementia, and have suggested that most people age 80 and older probably have mixed dementia caused by a combination of brain changes related to Alzheimer’s disease,vascular disease-related processes, or another condition that involves the loss of nerve cell function or structure and nerve cell death .
Scientists are investigating how the underlying disease processes in mixed dementia start and influence each other. Further knowledge gains in this area will help researchers better understand these conditions and develop more personalized prevention and treatment strategies.
Other conditions that cause dementia-like symptoms can be halted or even reversed with treatment. For example, normal pressure hydrocephalus, an abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain, often resolves with treatment.
Researchers have also identified many other conditions that can cause dementia or dementia-like symptoms. These conditions include:
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Dying From Dementia With Late
The death of your loved one can be a hard concept to wrap your head around and accept. But knowing what to expect can help you when your loved one has late-stage dementia. It might help to know what will happen in the future so that you can be prepared emotionally and logistically.
This article discusses how dementia progresses and what to expect during late-stage dementia.
What Is The Life Expectancy Of Those Living With Vascular Dementia
Like all forms of Dementia, the life expectancy of those living with Vascular Dementia vary from person to person. The average life of those diagnosed with Vascular Dementia is about five years after symptoms start to show, which is less than Alzheimers Disease.
Many individuals that are living with Vascular Dementia will die of a heart attack or a stroke rather than Dementia itself.
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How To Spot Early Indicators That Your Loved One May Have Alzheimers Or Dementia
by Patrick J. Kiger, AARP, Updated May 4, 2021| 0
En español | From age 50 on, its not unusual to have occasional trouble finding the right word or remembering where you put things.
But persistent difficulty with memory, cognition and ability to perform everyday tasks might be signs that something more serious is happening to a loved ones brain.
Dementia isnt actually a disease, according to the Mayo Clinic. Its a catch-all term for changes in the brain that cause a loss of functioning that interferes with daily life. Dementia can diminish focus, the ability to pay attention, language skills, problem-solving and visual perception. It also can make it difficult for a person to control his or her emotions and lead to personality changes.
More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s dementia, according to a 2021 report by the Alzheimer’s Association. Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause of dementia, accounting for 60 percent to 70 percent of cases, but a range of brain illnesses can lead to the condition .
Diseases that cause dementia
These conditions are the leading causes of dementia. Many patients have mixed dementia, a combination of two or more types, such as Alzheimers and vascular dementia.
Vascular dementia. The second most common type of dementia is caused from damage to the vessels that supply blood to the brain. It tends to affect focus, organization, problem-solving and speed of thinking more noticeably than memory.
What Are The Different Types Of Dementia
Various disorders and factors contribute to the development of dementia. Neurodegenerative disorders result in a progressive and irreversible loss of neurons and brain functioning. Currently, there are no cures for these diseases.
The five most common forms of dementia are:
- Alzheimers disease, the most common dementia diagnosis among older adults. It is caused by changes in the brain, including abnormal buildups of proteins, known as amyloid plaques and tau tangles.
- Frontotemporal dementia, a rare form of dementia that tends to occur in people younger than 60. It is associated with abnormal amounts or forms of the proteins tau and TDP-43.
- Lewy body dementia, a form of dementia caused by abnormal deposits of the protein alpha-synuclein, called Lewy bodies.
- Vascular dementia, a form of dementia caused by conditions that damage blood vessels in the brain or interrupt the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain.
- Mixed dementia, a combination of two or more types of dementia.
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What Other Things Help
Research has shown that physical exercise helps to enhance brain health and improves mood and general fitness. A balanced, heart-healthy diet, such as the MIND diet , and limited alcohol intake are other important ways to promote good brain health. Getting good sleep at night is another important component of brain health. This includes maintaining a normal sleep/wake cycle, practicing good sleep hygiene and recognizing and treating sleep disorders. Staying socially active and engaged in enjoyable, mentally stimulating activities helps to promote good mental health. Other illnesses that can affect the brain, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, should also be treated if present.
Conditions With Symptoms Similar To Dementia
Remember that many conditions have symptoms similar to dementia, so it is important not to assume that someone has dementia just because some of the above symptoms are present. Strokes, depression, excessive long-term alcohol consumption, infections, hormonal disorders, nutritional deficiencies and brain tumours can all cause dementia-like symptoms. Many of these conditions can be treated.
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Difficulty Finding The Right Words
Another early symptom of dementia is struggling to communicate thoughts. A person with dementia may have difficulty explaining something or finding the right words to express themselves. Having a conversation with a person who has dementia can be difficult, and it may take longer than usual to conclude.
When To Seek Medical Care If You Think You Or Someone You Know May Have Dementia
A person affected with dementia may not be aware he or she has a problem. Most people with dementia are brought to medical attention by a caring relative or friend. Any of the following warrant a visit to the person’s health care professional.
- Behavior or personality changes
- Persistent or frequent poor judgment
- Persistent or frequent confusion or disorientation, especially in familiar situations
- Inability to manage personal finances
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Symptoms Specific To Vascular Dementia
Vascular dementia is the second most common cause of dementia, after Alzheimer’s. Some people have both vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, often called “mixed dementia”.
Symptoms of vascular dementia are similar to Alzheimer’s disease, although memory loss may not be as obvious in the early stages.
Symptoms can sometimes develop suddenly and quickly get worse, but they can also develop gradually over many months or years.
Specific symptoms can include:
- stroke-like symptoms: including muscle weakness or temporary paralysis on one side of the body
- movement problems difficulty walking or a change in the way a person walks
- thinking problems having difficulty with attention, planning and reasoning
- mood changes depression and a tendency to become more emotional
Read more about vascular dementia.
What Are The Symptoms Of Frontotemporal Dementia
Symptoms of FTD start gradually and progress steadily, and in some cases, rapidly. They vary from person to person, depending on the areas of the brain involved. These are common symptoms:
- Behavior and/or dramatic personality changes, such as swearing, stealing, increased interest in sex, or a deterioration in personal hygiene habits
- Socially inappropriate, impulsive, or repetitive behaviors
- Impaired judgment
- Increasing dependence
Some people have physical symptoms, such as tremors, muscle spasms or weakness, rigidity, poor coordination and/or balance, or difficulty swallowing. Psychiatric symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions, also may occur, although these are not as common as behavioral and language changes.
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What To Watch For
Here are some of the warning signs identified by dementia experts and mental health organizations:
Difficulty with everyday tasks. Everyone makes mistakes, but people with dementia may find it increasingly difficult to do things like keep track of monthly bills or follow a recipe while cooking, the Alzheimers Association says.
They also may find it hard to concentrate on tasks, take much longer to do them or have trouble finishing them.
Repetition. Asking a question, hearing the answer and then repeating the same question 15 minutes later, or telling the same story about a recent event multiple times, are causes for concern, internist and geriatric specialist Jason Karlawish, a professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, noted in a 2018 article for AARP.
Communication problems. Observe if a loved one has trouble joining in conversations or following along with them, stops abruptly in the middle of a thought or struggles to think of words or the name of objects.
Getting lost. People with dementia may have difficulty with visual and spatial abilities. That can manifest itself in problems like getting lost while driving, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Personality changes. A loved one who begins acting unusually anxious, confused, fearful or suspicious becomes upset easily or loses interest in activities and seems depressed is cause for concern.
People with mild cognitive impairment are at an increased risk of developing dementia.
When To See A Doctor
Forgetfulness and memory problems dont automatically point to dementia. These are normal parts of aging and can also occur due to other factors, such as fatigue. Still, you shouldnt ignore the symptoms. If you or someone you know is experiencing a number of dementia symptoms that arent improving, talk with a doctor.
They can refer you to a neurologist who can examine you or your loved ones physical and mental health and determine whether the symptoms result from dementia or another cognitive problem. The doctor may order:
- a complete series of memory and mental tests
- a neurological exam
- brain imaging tests
If youre concerned about your forgetfulness and dont already have a neurologist, you can view doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.
Dementia is more common in people over the age of 65, but it can also affect younger people. Early onset of the disease can begin when people are in their 30s, 40s, or 50s. With treatment and early diagnosis, you can slow the progression of the disease and maintain mental function. The treatments may include medications, cognitive training, and therapy.
Possible causes of dementia include:
Difficulty Completing Normal Tasks
A subtle shift in the ability to complete normal tasks may indicate that someone has early dementia. This usually starts with difficulty doing more complex tasks like balancing a checkbook or playing games that have a lot of rules.
Along with the struggle to complete familiar tasks, they may struggle to learn how to do new things or follow new routines.