Vascular dementia occurs when there are problems in the blood supply to the brain. It is the second most common type of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease.
People who have vascular dementia will usually have suffered a series of small strokes; often so small they’re hardly noticeable.
Whilst Alzheimer’s disease progresses quite slowly, vascular dementia advances much faster. Someone with the condition often declines suddenly as the person has a new stroke. The gaps between strokes vary from weeks to months or even longer.
Symptoms of vascular dementia are not too dissimilar to Alzheimer’s disease. At first, people may have difficulty thinking clearly, planning and/or remembering. However, symptoms vary widely due to the nature of the disease - depending on which part of the brain was affected by the stroke.
Vascular dementia is most common in those aged 65-75 years old and is rare to see in younger people. You have a higher risk of developing vascular dementia if you have:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure/cholesterol
- Or if you’ve already had a stroke
If you are caring for someone with vascular dementia, or in fact any type of dementia, it’s important that the person stays active and continues to do the things they enjoy. To find out more about dementia care visit www.alzheimers.org.uk