What is Vascular Dementia?
Insufficient blood supply damages and can even kill the cells on the part of the body. The brain possesses one of the wealthiest networks of blood vessels, and therefore is especially vulnerable, explains the Alzheimer Association. Vascular dementia is the most common types of dementia, following Alzheimer’s disease and along with Lewy body dementia. It estimated that it is responsible for 10% to 20% of cases of dementia.
Causes of vascular dementia
This dementia is due both to narrowing and to a total blockage of the blood vessels in the brain, which causes nutrients and oxygen do not reach the brain cells and therefore do not function properly. This pathology can be due to several small strokes that can happen over time. At other times, it is due to a massive stroke, or that has occurred in a strategic location.
Not all strokes lead to dementia, but some patients, who have undergone a stroke, will develop dementia immediately after or within the next six months. It should take into account that a significant percentage of patients may have Alzheimer disease and cerebrovascular problems, which is what has been called “mixed dementia.” The main risk factors to undergo cerebrovascular pathology are arterial hypertension, smoking, diabetes mellitus and elevated cholesterol.
Risk Factors of dementia
People who have vascular dementia have had one or more of the following risk factors: heart attack, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, or smokers. If a patient has undergone multiple strokes, the risk of developing vascular dementia increases with the number of strokes experienced over time.
Vascular Dementia Symptoms
Vascular Dementia Symptoms vary depending on which part of the brain is affected and the cause of vascular dementia. A typical early symptom is a decline in the ability to organize thoughts or actions. Often the most visible symptom of vascular dementia is having problems with memory. Other symptoms include the following:
• Confusion and agitation
Difficulty solving problems
• An unsafe step
• Difficulties finding the right words
• The urgency of urination, the frequency of urination, or incontinence
• Mood swings or personality changes
Dementia symptoms related to spills or mini-spills
People with vascular dementia may have other (physical) signs of a spill or a mini-pill. A localized area of the body, such as a hand or the muscles of the face, may be weakened or it is also possible for the person to have a dead area in the body.
Onset and signs of vascular dementia
What is vascular dementia Symptoms? it May have a sudden onset if they are related to a stroke or mini-effusion. People sometimes called multiple-infarct dementia, have a progression of symptoms occurring in steps. Means that the symptoms remain the same for a while, and suddenly worsen when the individual suffers additional spillovers.
People with similar forms of vascular dementia will have a gradual increase in symptoms, and the disease would gradually worsen over time. Similar to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Diagnosis of Vascular Dementia
It is done through clinical history, interrogating the patient and a reliable informant (usually a relative) about the symptomatology and functional situation, along with neurological exploration and, above all, neuropsychological exploration (They perform a Test series to know the status of cognitive functions-memory, attention, language, etc.-that altered. Complete analytics should be done to discard other causes of dementia. Radiological tests (computed axial tomography (CT) or cerebral magnetic resonance imaging (preferably the latter) and nuclear medicine (SPECT or cerebral PET) reveal the cerebral vascular pathology that supports the diagnosis.
Treatment for Vascular Dementia
There are No medications individually to treat this disease, but some of the treatments for Alzheimer may help. Physicians often prescribe cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine.
Controlling vascular risk factors through treatments or lifestyle changes will help make vascular dementia not worsen.