by Oliver Wolf
Vascular dementia (also known as “vascular cognitive impairment”) is one of the most common causes of dementia in older people. When an individual begins suffering from forgetfulness, vascular dementia is often overlooked because it is not as obvious as Alzheimer’s and much more difficult to diagnose. Because vascular dementia is so difficult to diagnose, there are only estimates about how many people are actually affected. It is believed that approximately 15% to 20% of dementia cases in elderly are caused by vascular dementia. It is recommended that a professional screening should be performed on anyone deemed high risk (especially those who have already had a stroke or a transient ischemic attack or those with high cholesterol or a heart or blood vessel disease.)
Unlike Alzheimer’s, when the brain’s nerve cells deteriorate, vascular dementia is when part of the brain is depleted of blood and consequently of the nutrients and oxygen that it needs. This happens when the blood vessels that transport blood to the brain are clotted or stenotic. Strokes are also caused when blood going to the brain is cut off, however, not every individual who has suffered a stroke will develop vascular dementia as a consequence. Considering this, it is crucial to avoid and carefully manage risk factors such as diabetes, high blood-pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking in order to reduce the likelihood of vascular dementia. Similarly to Lewy body dementia, vascular dementia is most effectively treated when an early diagnosis is made.
by Oliver Wolf
Lewy body dementia is a very prevalent disease that affects a multitude of people every day. It is considered the third most common type of progressive dementia, ranking only behind Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. It is estimated that LBD affects over 1.4 million individuals in the United States alone. “Because LBD symptoms can closely resemble other more commonly known diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, it is currently widely under-diagnosed” ("What Is LBD?" Lewy Body Dementia Association, n.d. Web. 01 Aug. 2016.). Both Parkinson’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies fall under the umbrella term LBD. Although the early symptoms of the diseases are different, they both ultimately result in the same decline in cognitive ability.
by Ambra Giuliano
We all know that many things change as we age. When we’re young, we don’t tend to pay much attention in case we misplace our keys or forget a phone number, but as we grow older, sometimes we worry about the real meaning of these lapses. We need to remember that memory loss is not an inevitable part of the ageing process, and it’s important to know the difference between normal age-related forgetfulness and the symptoms that may indicate a developing cognitive problem.
by Susanne Mitschke
A big number of MindMate users are people who do not have a dementia diagnosis and who just want to keep their brains sharp. Still, many do ask us if there is a way to test oneself or if there are tests made by doctors that can give an exact dementia diagnosis.
First of all, it should be clear that no single test can prove a person has Alzheimer's. Only a comprehensive assessment can lead to a diagnosis.
Usually, the assessment would include tests concerning mental abilities and blood, as well as brain imaging.
Early detection does matter, and if you notice any early signs of dementia you should see a doctor.
We made an overview of the most common mental status tests, genetic testing and and brain scans.
We will also answer the question, if this tests are really effective and if they can really diagnose someone with dementia.
by Susanne Mitschke
Although Alzheimer's or any form of dementia can only be diagnosed by a doctor and after a complete medical assessment, some early warning signs shouldn't be overlooked. Early detection does matter, and if you notice any or more of these signs in yourself or your loved one, please see a doctor.
When beginning to research this, I was surprised how many movies about this subject there are. Still Alice has been all over the media, and it is a brilliant film, but we should not forget that there are many more. I think it’s great that there are movies like this out there as they raise awareness and give people easy access to the topic.
This is definitely not a top list, but five suggestions if you have been wondering what to watch tonight. (And are in the mood for a rather thoughtful and sad movie)
The Savages (2007)
The siblings Jon and Wendy (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney) do not get along. They are nevertheless forced to leave that behind when their father is diagnosed with dementia. He has never cared for them but they are the only ones left to care for him.
Welcome to the second Video Blog with Tommy. After your great reactions and feedback, we decided to post these weekly now! This time, we asked Tommy what he would advise someone to do after being diagnosed with dementia.
Have a look at what he said:
We spoke to a lot of counselors and have done a countless amount of reading, but none of the pieces of advice out there have really been so personal. We definitely believe that this approach is essential in this difficult and emotional time. Getting into this mindset and knowing what the essential things are should be the first thing to do, before taking any other steps.
It is nevertheless great that there are many good resources out there that can give you advice and information about dementia and the resulting "new normal". Also tips about treatment, medication and support are crucial. Some of our favorite resources are:
Alzheimer's Society - After a diagnosis
NHS - What to do after you've been diagnosed with dementia
Alzheimer's Association - Just diagnosed
A big "Thank You" to Tommy for speaking with us again. What would be/was the first step after a diagnosis for you?
Share it with us in the comments section!
The next video will be posted in a week, until then, we hope you are enjoying your MindMate App!