Vascular dementia is a type of dementia that’s caused by a reduced flow of blood to the brain. Signs of the condition may be similar to other types of dementia, but memory loss isn’t usually the main early symptom of vascular dementia.
Narrowing of blood vessels in the brain or having a stroke could lead to vascular dementia, warned the NHS.
The condition causes problems with mental abilities, as well as trouble with understanding or movement.
Spotting the condition early is crucial, as treatment may help to slow down the progression of the disease.
One of the most common warning signs of vascular dementia is problem solving difficulties.
Patients may find that they struggle to make plans, or even making decisions.
Others could find it increasingly difficult to follow a set of instructions; for example, following a recipe.
The dementia may also lead to a slower speed of thought, as well as sudden periods of confusion.
If you think that you, or someone you know, may have vascular dementia, you should speak to a doctor straight away.
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“Some symptoms may be similar to those of other types of dementia,” said the Alzheimer’s Society.
“Memory loss is common in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, but is not usually the main early symptom of vascular dementia.
“It is common for someone with early vascular dementia to experience mood changes, such as apathy, depression or anxiety.
“A person with vascular dementia may also become generally more emotional. They may be prone to rapid mood swings and being unusually tearful or happy.”
Vascular dementia symptoms tend to get worse over time, although the speed at which it progresses varies from person to person.
As time goes on, the patient is more likely to develop severe confusion or disorientation.
They may even need more support with day-to-day activities, including cooking and cleaning, added the charity.
The average patient usually survives for around five years after the initial onset of symptoms.
You could lower your risk of vascular dementia symptoms by giving up smoking, and by maintaining a normal blood pressure.
Sticking to a healthy diet and doing regular exercise are some of the best and easiest ways to avoid the disease.
Everyone should aim to eat a healthy, balanced diet, containing at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
Around 150,000 people in the UK have been diagnosed with vascular dementia.
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