Doctor shares two symptoms of vascular dementia that can appear
Alzheimer's Society explains what vascular dementia is
Following a stroke, interrupted blood flow to the brain can lead to brain damage.
A person who has experienced a lack of blood flow and, hence, oxygen to the brain is at higher risk of developing vascular dementia.
In fact, there are multiple risk factors for vascular dementia, including:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Heart attack
- Cardiovascular disease.
The onset of vascular dementia is said to follow in a “step-wise fashion”, which differs from Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr Hussain explained that Alzheimer’s disease leads to a “gradual, slow decline in cognitive function”.
Vascular dementia can cause a person to have “difficulty concentrating”, said Dr Hussain.
Another potential indication of vascular dementia could be “difficulty with judgements”.
“If damage has been dome to part of the brain already, this cannot be reversed, as such,” said Dr Hussain.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) clarified: “Vascular dementia is a condition caused by poor blood flow in the brain.”
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There are more symptoms of vascular dementia to be aware of, depending on which part of the brain has been affected.
Early signs of the disease can include:
- Concentration problems, such as struggling to focus during a conversation
- Mood and personality changes, such as irritability or feeling low
- Poor short-term memory
- Difficulty with everyday skills, such as reading or driving
- Difficulty with decision-making and planning
- Slowing down of thought processes
- Difficulty saying your thoughts clearly.
In the later stage, those who have vascular dementia might experience feeling increasingly confused and disorientated.
Additional symptoms in the later stages include:
- Long-term memory loss and difficulty concentrating
- Increasing difficulty remembering words and communicating
- Difficulty with balance or falling frequently
- Depression and personality changes
- In some cases, loss of bladder control.
Anybody who suspects they, or a loved one, might be suffering from dementia is advised to book a doctor’s appointment for the affected person.
While there is no cure for vascular dementia, treatment is available to help the person affected lead an independent life for as long as possible.
Dr Suhail Hussain is a personal physician and private home-visiting GP in the Herts and greater London area, providing bespoke medical services to discerning clients.
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