What is vascular dementia and what are the main symptoms?
Vascular dementia is a type of dementia, which is typical of older adults and which is also known as multi-infarct dementia. After Alzheimer’s disease, this is the most common form of dementia, but the good thing about it is that it can be prevented, which is why it is important to get familiar with the main symptoms and causes, in order to react timely. As for the symptoms, they depend on several elements, and one of them is the part of the brain that is affected. Some of the most frequently reported symptoms are problems with memory, poor attention and concentration, in the first place, but besides that, frequent urination, urinary incontinence, wandering at night, difficulty with organizing thoughts, or actions, as well as difficulty with planning in advance. This is a progressive disease, and once the symptoms begin to appear, they will usually worsen very quickly, and they will be followed by either series of strokes or ministrokes. Regarding the symptoms, they are very similar to the ones of Alzheimer’s disease, which is why people tend to confuse these two condtitions. They sometimes tend to occur together.
What are the causes of vascular dementia?
When it comes to causes of vascular dementia, it occurs for several reasons, but the most common ones are related to cerebrovascular diseases such as narrowing or complete blockage of the blood vessels in the brain. Narrowing leads to the lack of oxygen and nutrients in the brain, which are normally carried by blood, while the complete blockage leads to strokes. Besides these causes, vascular dementia may be the result of
- extremely low blood pressure,
- damage of the brain that is caused by hemorrhage,
- damage of the blood vessel due to the lupus erythematosus or temporal arthritis,
- certain inherited (genetic) diseases,
- infections of the heart (endocarditis),
- brain hemorrhage,
- profoundly low blood pressure.
Certain factors such as diabetes, for example, smoking, high level of cholesterol and high blood pressure may increase the chances of vascular dementia, which is why people who belong to some of these groups should be extra careful and have regular check ups. In order to minimize the risk of developing this very problematic condition, it is highly advisable to normalize the bloood pressure and levels of cholesterol, to stop smoking, and in cases of people suffering from diabetes to keep the level of blood sugar under control.