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Vascular Dementia: Preventative Measure - DementiaGuide.com
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Vascular Dementia: Preventative Measure


Posted on November 19, 2009 by DementiaGuide

Vascular Dementia: Preventative Measure

Multi-infarct Dementia and Binswanger disease are the two most common types of vascular dementia

Vascular dementia has two types that are the most prevalent:

Multi-infarct Dementia (MID) is the most common. It is caused by a number of mini-strokes or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs'). These mini-strokes may be silent in that no one may be aware that they have occurred. They can only be seen in various brain scans. The symptoms of these TIAs' are often very slight, such as mild weakness in arm or leg, slurred speech and dizziness. People with MID may have short-term memory loss, inability to follow conversations or appear generally confused. They also may experience psychiatric symptoms, such as hallucinations, delusions or depression in the intermediate stages of the dementia. In addition, people with MID generally have better insight into their conditions in the early stages then people with Alzheimer's disease since parts of their individual personality may remain intact longer.

The second common type of vascular dementia is Binswanger's disease. It is a subcortical vascular dementia once considered rare, but experts have assessed that it's relatively more common than expected. It is associated with stroke-related changes in the "white matter" deep within the brain. It iscaused by high-blood pressure, thickening of the arteries and inadequate blood flow to the brain. Often Binswanger's disease leads to brain lesions. Symptoms often include slowness in movements, lethargy, and difficulty with walking, mood changes and urinary incontinence.

Because all vascular dementia types are closely tied to diseases of the heart and blood vessels, many medical experts have expressed that it is the most potentially preventable form of dementia. The best, most effective way to prevent vascular dementia is to lower the risk of strokes. Studies reported in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry have shown that the rate of prevalence of vascular dementia is nine times higher in individuals with a history of strokes.

Monitoring one's blood pressure, weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol should begin early in life. Managing the risk factors of strokes (i.e., high blood pressure, diabetes, blood clots), avoiding smoking, drinking excessive alcohol and treating underlying abnormalities and malfunctioning of heart-and-blood vessels will prevent later cognitive decline.

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