Vascular dementia is nothing, but a group of conditions that lead to decline in the cognitive skills of individuals. People with this health issue experience problems with memory, judgment and reasoning. A patient can get these changes all of a sudden or they can also be mild and unnoticed changes initially. This condition is known to be caused due to a block or a lack of blood flow to the brain. When there is a reduction in the flow of blood to the brain, it will be deprived of the much-needed oxygen for its healthy functioning. When the brain cannot get enough oxygen, it will be damaged and this can happen within a short period or in a longer period as well. This condition is otherwise called as Vascular Cognitive impairment and it is stated to be the second most common reasons behind dementia followed by Alzheimer’s disease.
Generally, the symptoms of this condition will vary according to the part of the brain that is damaged. Also, the severity depends on the longevity of the brain in remaining without oxygen and blood. Many symptoms of this condition are known to overlap with that of other types of dementia and it will not be possible to notice all symptoms in a patient easily. So, here are the common symptoms:
• Difficulty in controlling urination or even some patients will experience frequent urination as well.
• The patients can easily get upset for smaller things
• Some patients will have memory problems and confusion as well.
• They will have difficulty in focusing on any task they do.
• They will have unsteady gait
Stages of this condition:
Changes caused by this health issue will generally happen in noticeable stages. In the first stage, there will be mild cognitive impairment. At this stage, the patients will be in a position to realize that their memory and mental capabilities are not functioning as it was earlier. When it comes to mild impairment, it can occur after a series of mini strokes or even after a minor stroke. Generally, Vascular Cognitive impairment cannot be diagnosed at this initial stage.
When this condition advances, the patients will experience more severe strokes. A severe stroke that brings down the oxygen supply to the brain and the blood flow for an extended period can bring about major changes in the physical and cognitive capabilities of patients. Symptoms at this stage can be easily noticed.
The most common cause for this condition is stroke. When there is an occurrence of stroke, the brain will be left without blood and oxygen for a certain period. This can cause destruction to portions of the brain. There are chances of blood clot or aneurysm that can prevent the flow of blood to happen properly. This can also lead to improper oxygen or blood supply to the brain. Chronically damaged or narrowed blood vessels can also lead to this condition.
The risk factors for this condition are age and hardened arteries in the body.