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The second most common form of dementia is vascular dementia and currently, there is no cure. It is caused by problems in the supply of blood to the brain where small blood vessels are damaged. It affects people in different ways and also the speed of the progression varies from person to person.

It is normal for the symptoms of vascular dementia to begin suddenly, for example after a person suffers a stroke.  It is usual for Vascular dementia to follow a 'stepped' progression, in which symptoms remain at a constant level for a time and then deteriorate suddenly, rather than as a gradual reduction in skills and or abilities as with Alzheimer’s disease.  Some symptoms may be similar to those of other types of dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease, however, the illness progresses very differently. 

People with vascular dementia may experience symptoms such as:

  • Depression or anxiety
  • Memory problems
  • Seizures
  • Periods of severe/acute confusion
  • Physical weakness or weakness
  • Problems with concentration, thinking and communication.

 The brain, like all other cells in the body, needs a regular supply of blood and oxygen.  If this supply is affected in any way the cells suffer damage and may die. When these brain cells no longer function properly and or die a person may develop Vascular Dementia.  Some areas of the brain may be more affected than others, and as a result, some areas of the brain may remain relatively unaffected.

People with Vascular Dementia, as a result, may be aware of problems they are experiencing and this can lead to an increased risk of depression. There are different types of vascular dementia which depends on what caused the damage to the brain and which part of the brain has been damaged. The types are;-Stroke related dementia where and mixed dementia, which is where someone has vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.  It is common to find peoples Dementia symptoms caused by a mixture of to condition

Vascular dementia refers to a subtle, progressive decline in memory and cognitive functioning and occurs when the blood supply carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain is interrupted by a blocked or diseased vascular system. If the blood supply is blocked for longer than a few seconds, brain cells can die, causing damage to the cortex of the brain, which is the area associated with learning, memory, and language. The most common type of vascular dementia is multi-infarct dementia (MID), which is caused by a series of small strokes, or “mini-strokes,” that often go unnoticed and cause. These mini-strokes also referred to as transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), result in only temporary, partial blockages of blood supply and brief impairments in consciousness or sight. Over time, however, as more areas of the brain become damaged, the symptoms of vascular dementia begin to appear

Vascular dementia affects different people in different ways and the speed of the progression varies from person to person. Some symptoms may be similar to those of other types of dementia, however, people with vascular dementia may experience the following:- Increasing difficulties in performing everyday activities, eating, dressing or shopping.

Behavioural and physical symptoms can come on dramatically or very gradually, although it appears that a prolonged period of TIAs leads to a gradual decline in memory, whereas a bigger stroke can produce profound symptoms immediately.

Regardless of the rate of appearance, vascular dementia typically progresses in a stepwise fashion, where lapses in memory and reasoning abilities are followed by periods of stability, only to give way to further decline

 Common mental and emotions signs include:

  • Slowed thinking
  • Memory problems; general forgetfulness
  • Unusual mood changes like depression, irritability
  • Hallucinations and delusions
  • Confusion, which may get worse at night
  • Personality changes and loss of social skills.

 Common physical signs include:

  • Dizziness
  • Leg or arm weakness
  • Tremors
  • Moving with rapid, shuffling steps
  • Balance problems
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control.

Common behaviour signs include: Slurred speech; Language problems, such as difficulty finding the right words for things; Getting lost in familiar surroundings; Laughing or crying inappropriately; difficulty planning, organizing, or following instructions; Difficulty doing things that used to come easily, for example paying bills or playing a favourite card game; And reduced ability to function in daily life.

It is important to understand that some of these symptoms may not always be as a direct consequence of vascular dementia and there could be other reasons or factor that explain these symptoms. People with conditions such as high blood pressure, heart problems, high cholesterol and diabetes are more at risk of developing vascular dementia. It is therefore recommended that these conditions are identified and treated as soon as possible.