Vascular Dementia is one of the many different types of the condition, alongside Alzheimer’s, Lewy Bodies, and frontotemporal.
The disease is caused by restricted blood flow to the brain, which in turn damages and loses brain cells. This can occur suddenly, or slowly over time, and although rare, people under 65 can also be afflicted with the condition. Unfortunately, even with effective treatment and a healthy lifestyle, life expectancy is severely reduced.
Risk factors include:
- poor diet
- being overweight
- high blood pressure
- lack of exercise
These risk factors can be reduced by a change in lifestyle and may also slow down the progress in those who already has it.
Other risk factors, that cannot be changed, are:
- family history- people who have immediate family with the disease are more likely to develop it themselves
- your age- older people are more at risk
- your ethnicity
. . .
Symptoms to look out for in the initial stages include:
- Difficulties with concentration
- Difficulties with planning and understanding things
- Difficulties walking and keeping balance
- Mood and personality changes
- Slowness of thought
These symptoms can commonly be left unnoticed or confused with conditions such as depression, but it shows that some brain damage has occurred. The symptoms will develop further, and later stage symptoms include:
- Difficulties finding words
- Significant slowness of thought
- Difficulties in pursuing daily activities
- Lack of enthusiasm, mood swings and depression
- Feeling confused and disoriented
- Severe personality changes
- Urinary incontinence
Doctors recommend a diet of ‘brain-healthy’ foods, such as green leafy vegetables, nuts, berries, seafood, wholegrains, berries and poultry. These foods are supposed to help with cognitive function and may also help slow down the progress with the disease.
Featured Image Photo Credit: Psychology Today
Article by: Marsha Turner