What is Vascular Dementia?

April 16, 2010 at 6:41 pm Leave a comment

A lady raised her hand at a caregiver workshop and said that her husband was recently diagnosed with vascular dementia. She wondered how that was different from Alzheimer’s.

Dementia is the big umbrella name for diseases that are neurological and effect our memory and other cognitive abilities. Alzheimer’s is the largest sub-category of dementia followed second by vascular dementia.

What is vascular dementia?

Vascular dementia is caused when the blood supply to the brain is blocked. It affects a person’s memory and cognitive functioning, which includes our ability to reason, recognize things, and make sound judgement. It tends to affect people between the ages of 60 and 75. it affects more men than women and appears to be related to heart disease, and particularly, high blood pressures.  It can come on gradually or suddenly.  

*Vascular Dementia Symptoms Include:

  • Memory problems; forgetfulness
  • Dizziness
  • Leg or arm weakness
  • Lack of concentration
  • Moving with rapid, shuffling steps
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Vascular Dementia Can Affect:

    • Slurred speech
    • Language problems
    • Abnormal behavior
    • Wandering or getting lost in familiar surroundings
    • Laughing or crying inappropriately
    • Difficulty following instructions
    • Problems handling money

    There is a bit of good news: by doing all you can to prevent heart disease and high blood pressure, you help to prevent vascular dementia. Daily exercise, eating healthy, taking medications prescribed for our conditions, and keeping our brains sharp and engaged are the best ways to prevent vascular dementia and heart disease.

    Know the signs of a stroke:

    • Brief episodes of numbness
    • Temporary loss of vision, speech, or strength may indicate a mini-stroke (TIA) or a stroke.

    If you experience these symptoms, call 911 immediately. There are medications when taken early, can help to prevent or deter the effects of a stroke.

    The better we educate ourselves, the more empower ourselves. Share this information with family and friends. Vascular dementia is one disease we can help to prevent.

    *from Helpguide.org.

    Entry filed under: brain fitness, caring for parents, elder care, family caregiving. Tags: , , , , .

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    Hi, I'm Carol O'Dell. This blog will include stories and lessons I've learned while caring for my mom, and now as I speak to caregivers around the country. I hope to offer suggestions, ideas and insights that will help others.

    While this blog is supported by Dakim Brain Fitness, I’m not blogging to promote the Dakim company or products. Instead, I’m writing about how caring and being cared for affects your life and your family. My hope is that this blog gives you a place to learn, reflect, gain new perspective to make it another day.

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