Wednesday Workshop – What is Vascular Dementia?
Hello and welcome to Wednesday Workshop. Dementia is a term most Americans are familiar with, but many may not be aware of vascular dementia. About 15 to 20 percent of older adults who suffer from dementia actually have vascular dementia.
Vascular dementia occurs when part of the brain isn’t getting enough blood carrying the oxygen and nutrients it requires. Some people may assume their loved one has Alzheimer’s, but with Alzheimer’s disease the brain’s nerve cells break down, which is a different situation. Even though these two memory disorders happen in different ways, it is possible to have vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s at the same time.
A person who has vascular dementia generally has problems with planning, reasoning, judgment, and memory. When the vascular dementia risk factors are controlled, it can lessen the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Types of vascular dementia
There are different types of vascular dementia. While they have some symptoms in common, others differ. As well, the symptoms for each type can progress in different ways.
Stroke dementia: This is dementia that occurs with a stroke. A stroke takes place when blood supply to part of the brain in cut off. Strokes vary in severity depending on where blood vessels are blocked and whether blood supply is interrupted temporarily or is permanent.
Post-stroke dementia: About 20 percent of people who have stroke develop post-stroke dementia within the following six months. If you have a stroke, you are at risk of having another one, and if it does happen, your risk of developing dementia increases.
Single-infarct and multi-infarct dementia: These happen when a person has one or more small strokes. This normally occurs when a clot blocks a medium or large blood vessel. In some cases, the stroke is so small the person doesn’t notice any symptoms. When blood supply is interrupted for more than a few minutes, the stroke will likely result in the death of an area of tissue in the brain – this is called, infarct. If just one infarct forms, then it is single infarct, but if a series of strokes occur over weeks or months, it could lead to multi-infarcts.
Subcortical dementia: This type of dementia is due to diseases in very small blood vessels that are positioned deep in the brain. These vessels become thick, stiff, and twisted, thus reducing the flow of blood through them. Such damage to small vessels can destroy the nerve fibers that transmit signals to the brain. This is the most common type of vascular dementia.
Mixed dementia: This is a combination of vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This basically means that both the vascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease are thought to have lead to the dementia symptoms.
To learn more or to speak with us here at the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center
Feel free to call us at (877) 760-9199 or email us below. Thanks for watching today’s Wednesday Workshop and we’ll see you again next week.