Vascular dementia (VaD) occurs when a physiological event or injury interferes with blood circulation in the brain. Without the benefit of access to nutrient-rich blood, neurons cannot function and communicate properly, which leads to a large array of cognitive symptoms. Situations that might slow or stop circulation to certain regions of the brain include atherosclerosis, head injury or stroke. Following are six little-known facts about VaD that Temple dementia caregivers should know about.
1. Vascular Dementia Progresses
If medical interventions cannot return normal blood flow, or if measures are not taken to prevent further circulation disruption, then vascular dementia gradually worsens. The affected area of the brain spreads and more symptoms may manifest.
2. It Has Unique Symptoms
VaD patients often initially experience memory loss like other forms of dementia. Other cognitive symptoms include muddled thinking and problem-solving difficulties. Depending on the site of the brain damage, seniors might suffer hearing, speaking or visual problems. Some exhibit behavioral changes or physical impairment similar to Parkinson’s disease.
3. VaD Is Treatable
In the case of blood clots, physicians may administer medications or use mechanical means to dissolve or remove the blockage. Certain medications can also reduce brain tissue swelling, which releases pressure on blood vessels. If the condition is not repairable, patients may require therapy to maintain or improve physical and mental abilities.
4. It’s a Fairly Common Form of Dementia
Studies and autopsy reports indicate that one in five elderly adults who are diagnosed with cognitive disorders have vascular dementia. This puts vascular dementia as the second most prevalent form of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease.
5. Alzheimer’s Is Not the Same as Vascular Dementia
Many people mistakenly equate all forms of dementia with Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s develops when chemical compounds in the brain no longer regulate tau proteins that accumulate, stick together and interrupt communication between neurons. This isn’t the case in vascular dementia where brain damage is the result of injury to cerebral blood vessels.
6. Seniors with VaD Benefit from Home Care
Seniors that are diagnosed with VaD require encouragement, patience and understanding. With help from a reliable in-home care agency in Temple, seniors can monitor medication schedules, engage in activities that maintain or boost memory, and maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen to encourage cardiovascular health.
Home Care Assistance is a leading provider of Alzheimer’s, dementia and post-stroke home care in Temple. Contact us at 254-856-0600 today to learn how our comprehensive services benefit your loved one’s physical, emotional and mental wellbeing without compromising his or her independence. We will be happy to customize a unique care plan to meet your loved one’s needs.