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Depression and vascular dementia

When it comes to dementias, Alzheimer's disease is the first most common occurrence of this health problem. However, vascular dementia takes the second place being a great problem as well. Vascular dementia is not exactly a single disease but, rather, a set of many different symptoms forming the disease together. This condition can be prevented when adequate steps are taken timely.

History of Vascular Dementia

In 1899, arteriosclerosis and senile dementia were separated medically, being considered two different syndromes. However, in 1969, Mayer-Gross and others noticed that this condition is closely related to hypertension. In fact, their findings showed that more than 50% of patients with dementia suffered from high blood pressure. In 1974, Hachinski and others coined a new term for this condition, naming it multi-infarct dementia. Finally, in 1985, Loeb used vascular dementia as the name for this illness. Today, however, we have an even newer term, vascular cognitive impairment, brought in by Bowler and Hachinski.

Facts about Vascular Dementia

Numerous tests and scans can be done in order to pinpoint depression lurking in a person. Usually, these people are asked numerous questions regarding their feelings and attitudes, as well as their proneness to suicide.

Vascular depression is characterized as the major type of depression. However, some elderly patients may socialize with other people and lead a rich life, only to be secretly bothered by suicidal desires and passive wishes to die. Thus, these kinds of patients need to be closely monitored.

Demented patients are prone to psychosis, hallucinations, deluded behavior, paranoia, agitation or even homicide, at some stages of the disease. Patients with vascular dementia usually change their moods abruptly and drastically, being more susceptible to major depression than patients with Alzheimer's disease. Moreover, depending on the severity of vascular dementia, the symptoms may be more serious too. Severe memory loss is noticeable, even in the early stages of this condition.

Causes of Vascular Dementia

Smokers are more likely to suffer from vascular dementia than other people. The same goes for people with high blood pressure, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease.

Also, this type of dementia, and dementia in general tend to affect older people, people with lower education levels, people who have dementia running in their family, those who have left side lesions or larger lesions as well as ischemic white matter lesions. Also, stroke survivors, people with interomedian temporal lobes, hippocampus and watershed infarcts have increased chances of suffering from vascular dementia.

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