Vascular Dementia: causes, progression, and support

This video from the UK Alzheimer’s Society explains vascular dementia.

As described by the video, our neurons require a healthy blood supply.  Our blood brings oxygen and nutrients to each of these cells.

Vascular dementias typically develop in one of two ways.  A major stroke can seriously damage the brain by cutting off the blood supply for a period of time.  Symptoms of dementia would be observable afterwards.  In contrast, a multi-infarct dementia can develop through a series of smaller strokes or by a narrowing of the blood vessels.  In both cases the blood supply is inhibited, either for lesser time for a series of smaller strokes, or gradually by limiting the amount of blood that reaches each neuron.

Certain cardiovascular diseases put individuals at higher risk for developing a vascular dementia.  These include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease.

Symptoms include problems planning, organizing, and concentrating.  We should strive to break down complex tasks into basic steps and to simplify the environment.

Unlike other steps of dementia, vascular dementias tend to progress in a step-wise manner.  Although no treatments exist to reverse the associated effects of previous damage, a person living with the vascular dementia may stabilize at a new baseline if the blood supply remains constant.  However, if the blood supply continues to change, deterioration may happen at a quicker pace than for other types of dementia (Brain Test).

It is important for older adults living with vascular dementia to have the support they need to live their lives.  By focusing on what they can still do, we support clients living with this diagnosis.  NursePartners pairs dementia trained certificated nursing assistants with clients living at home or a facility.  Contact us today to learn more about our GEM care services for clients living with dementia.  610-323-9800

 

 

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