Vascular dementia is characterized by problems associated with remembering, reasoning, planning, and judgment due to brain damage caused by impaired blood flow to your brain. Unfortunately, there aren’t many treatment options. This article provides information on this medical condition.
Vascular dementia occurs when the blood vessels that supply oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood to the brain become blocked or constricted. The complete blockage usually causes a stroke. People over the age of 65, especially those who are affected by conditions such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, diabetes, lupus erythematosus, brain hemorrhage, and temporal arteritis are at an increased risk.
As multiple sections of the brain may get affected, the symptoms may vary from person to person. These symptoms may occur suddenly and worsen rapidly. The general symptoms which are usually observed in patients include:
- Memory problems
- Agitation for no real reason
- Inability to think in an organized manner
- Problems in communication
- Poor concentration
- Urinary incontinence
- Wandering at night
- Frequent urination
- Changes in personality and mood
- Some people might exhibit symptoms that occur during a stroke. These include muscle weakness, paralysis of one side of the body, etc.
This condition is incurable. Also, no standard drugs exist for its treatment. However, some medications that have been approved by the FDA for alleviating the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, are known to help reduce the symptoms to some extent. One of these medications helps in boosting the level of a chemical messenger that is involved in memory and judgment. The other type works to improve the information processing, storage, and retrieval process in the brain. Some of the drugs have not been approved by the Food and Drug Association for the treatment of this form of dementia.
Avoidance of the triggers is also an integral part of the treatment. Since severe hypertension is a risk factor, taking medications and other measures to keep blood pressure under control, may help in manage the symptoms. However, it must be noted that all these measures would be of no use in improving the cognitive function that has been lost. They may only slow down the progression of the disease.
Given the lack of adequate treatment measures available for this condition, steps must be taken to prevent this condition. This can be done by keeping a healthy blood pressure, maintaining normal cholesterol levels, quitting smoking, and controlling diabetes.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.