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 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.
This one is not about the words. It's all about the numbers.