What is vascular dementia? Let’s explore the important elements surrounding it.
In this article:
- What Is Vascular Dementia?
- What Is the Difference Between Alzheimer’s and Vascular Dementia?
- What Are the Early Signs of Vascular Dementia?
- How Long Can You Live After Being Diagnosed with Vascular Dementia?
- How Do They Test for Vascular Dementia?
- Is Vascular Dementia a Hereditary Disease?
- What Is the Best Treatment for Vascular Dementia?
- How Can Purple Tea Help with Vascular Dementia?
Everything You Need to Know About Vascular Dementia
What Is Vascular Dementia?
Vascular dementia is characterized by loss of memory and difficulty with reasoning and problem-solving and other mental activities. These symptoms are due to brain damage caused by reduced supply of blood in the brain. It occurs after a person has experienced major health attacks such as stroke. It is the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease.
What Is the Difference Between Alzheimer’s and Vascular Dementia?
Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia are two of the most common types of dementia in the US. They are also very similar in nature, as many of their symptoms tend to overlap. However, they are still different. Some of the most distinguishing factors between the two include:
- Vascular dementia is often caused by an acute illness or attack such as stroke. Alzheimer’s cause, on the other hand, is not fully known yet, but genetic and environmental factors play a great part in it.
- Vascular dementia is the second most prevalent type of dementia. It affects 1-4 percent of people over 65 years old. Alzheimer’s, on the other hand, is the most recognizable type of dementia, causing damage to about 5 million people in the US today.
- The risk factors in vascular dementia include illnesses such as high blood pressure, heart diseases, and diabetes. Alzheimer’s, on the other hand, has risk factors anchored in developing age and genetics, and lifestyle practices such as diet and exercise.
What Are the Early Signs of Vascular Dementia?
The signs and symptoms of vascular dementia usually vary depending on the severity of the case. Mild cases of vascular dementia are not as easy to spot since they may be mistaken as usual signs of aging or of a less serious problem. Mild cases often include any of the following symptoms:
- slowed thought processing
- trouble understanding simple instructions
- distracted orientation and loss of concentration
- mood and behavioral changes
- difficulty with language
- loss of memory
Vascular dementia symptoms during the mild stage heighten. They often develop into the following more serious signs:
- significant slowness of thought processing
- showing signs of disorientation and confusion
- significant loss of memory
- trouble concentrating
- lack of ability to find the right words
- aggression and extreme mood and behavior changes
- depressive tendencies and lack of enthusiasm
- difficulty balancing and even walking
- loss of bladder control
- delusions and hallucination
- impaired daily activities due to any or more of the above-mentioned symptoms
How Long Can You Live After Being Diagnosed with Vascular Dementia?
The experience with vascular dementia differs from one person to another. Generally, vascular dementia is experienced after a major stroke or an event of that kind. After such event, if a person acquires the symptoms of vascular dementia, life expectancy ranges for around five years. This may also vary depending on the severity of other existing or inciting conditions such as heart attack or stroke.
How Do They Test for Vascular Dementia?
The most evident way of testing for vascular dementia is through the symptoms experienced by the patient. There are no specific clinical tests to confirm vascular dementia. Experts rely highly on symptoms displayed to diagnose the condition.
Medical history will also help confirm the diagnosis. Tests confirm the severity of the symptoms.
- Blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar tests may indicate heart and blood vessel conditions.
- Thyroid disorders and vitamin deficiencies may be causes of memory loss or confusion and may trigger cases of vascular dementia
- Neurological exams may determine brain activity and brain health by checking the reflexes, ability of the senses, coordination, and balance.
- CT and MRI scans may be used to pinpoint abnormalities in brain activity.
Is Vascular Dementia a Hereditary Disease?
The genes of a person play a lesser role in vascular dementia. Most of the symptoms and cases of vascular dementia spring from major events like a stroke. This is one of the defining factors that differentiate Alzheimer’s from vascular dementia.
If diseases such as stroke, diabetes, or heart problems run in the family, the risk of developing vascular dementia may also increase.
What Is the Best Treatment for Vascular Dementia?
There are no definite drugs approved by experts for vascular dementia yet. The signs of vascular dementia may call for different forms of treatment. The most efficient way to prevent the condition from worsening is to control the risk factors. This may delay the development of the condition, even though it does not fully take it away.
Some ways to help prevent the risk factors from developing is through any of the following:
- Maintain a healthy blood pressure and cholesterol level.
- Avoid vices such as alcohol and smoking to avoid further damaging the immunity of the body.
- Do physical exercise as often as possible.
- Avoid food and practices that may progress the cause of dementia (such as avoiding eating sweets for those with diabetes).
How Can Purple Tea Help with Vascular Dementia?
Several studies today show that drinking tea every day could actually help decrease the tendency for dementia because it lowers the risk of cognitive impairment. Green and black teas are very helpful in improving brain capacity and help in preventing brain cell deterioration.
Purple tea is known for its antioxidant properties. This property, together with its anti-inflammatory components, protect the brain from damage. Drinking three to four cups a day will help strengthen cognitive performance and prevent neurodegeneration. If the brain is capacitated and strengthened, it may decrease the progress of dementia significantly. It will also help with the overall wellness of the body.
To know more about vascular dementia, watch this video from Peter M. Lawrence:
Vascular dementia is a growing problem. It has sped up to being the second most common type of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease. Understanding vascular dementia will help us protect ourselves and our loved ones from developing the symptoms that may lead to it. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help prevent this condition. And, if you know a person suffering from vascular dementia, a better understanding of the condition will help you empathize and care for them.
Do you have vascular dementia stories of your own? Share with us in the comments section below!