Vascular dementia occurs when there is decreased blood flow to the brain resulting in problems relating to planning, thought processing, retaining stuff, reasoning and judgment. This dementia can either be due to stroke or due to any damage to the blood vessels causing the brain to be deprived of important nutrients and oxygen.
Symptoms are mostly like other types of dementia
- Lack of attention and concentration
- Memory problems
- Continuous agitation
- Difficulty analyzing and planning things
- Difficulty organizing actions and thought
- Walking unsteadily
- Urge to urinate frequently
- Emotionlessness and depression
These symptoms are very evident when they are due to stroke.
Vascular dementia occurs due to low supply of nutrients and oxygen to the brain. This can be due to following reasons:
- Blockage of any brain artery (stroke)
- Chronic damage to brain vessels (narrowing)
The diagnosis is mainly made on the history and symptoms because there is no specific test to confirm vascular dementia. To rule out other causes and to reach the proper diagnosis doctor may carry out these tests
- Lab tests: blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, thyroid tests, vitamin deficiencies.
- Neurological exam: complete neurological examination including muscle tone, reflexes, touch and sensation etc.
- Brain imaging: CT scan and MRI
- Carotid ultrasound: to check if there is any narrowing
- Neurophysiological tests: analyzing speech, memory and response to different situations which involves thinking and intellect.
Treatment is mainly focused on underlying health conditions such as blood pressure cholesterol etc.
So the doctor may prescribe medications for:
- Blood sugar if diabetes is present
- Cholesterol levels
- Blood clot prevention
- Blood pressure
Lifestyle and home remedies
- Going out for social activities
- Maintaining a normal weight
- Having a healthy diet
- Doing more physical activities
- Playing brain games such as puzzles, listening new music, etc.