Friday, October 17, 2014

Day 16 - Alzheimer's Disease vs. Vascular Dementia

In order to really answer this question, I once again went to the Internet and discovered an article in the Boston Globe written on August 24, 2014.  The article can be found at the Globe’s website; click here if you would like to read it.  I have also used information from alzheimers.about.com for additional information in preparing today's blog.

With the amount of information available on the Internet, it is still hard to put this all into a more “reader friendly” way; but that is what I will try to do!

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia; there are approximately 5.4 million Americans with Alzheimer's disease!

Vascular dementia is one of several other types of dementia*.  Statistics vary but it is estimated that between one and four percent of people over the age of 65 develop Vascular dementia.  That percentage doubles every five to ten years after age 65.

*You may recall from my post on October 7th, "What Is Dementia?", that dementia "...describes a group of symptoms and is not the name of a disease or diseases that cause the symptoms."  If you would like to read that post again, click here.

It is not completely certain what causes Alzheimer's disease.  Such factors as age, general health, lifestyle, environment and genetics may contribute to a person developing Alzheimer's disease.  There are ways to decrease that chance, such as exercise and maintaining an active mind.  The intellectual impairment progresses gradually from forgetfulness to total disability, with no known way to stop or cure it.

Vascular dementia is often caused by a specific event such as a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIAs) where the blood flow to the brain has been interrupted.  It can also develop gradually over time from very small blockages or slow downs of blood flow.  Risk factors include diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, and peripheral artery disease. 

Treatment can reduce the possibility of further damage in Vascular dementia patients.  As long as the high blood pressure, which caused strokes in the first place, is kept under control with medication, diet, exercise, and other forms of treatment, the condition will stabilize.  Although the person who has had a stroke (or strokes) is susceptible to having more strokes, keeping the blood pressure under control will help reduce that possibility.

While I am not an expert on the subject of dementia, or Alzheimer's disease or Vascular dementia, or any other topics I have written about, I have attempted to bring information that may be helpful to others - and have cited websites or references for further reading or research.  I do hope this information is helpful to even ONE person who may read my blog!

In my post on October 17th, I will touch on some of the other types of dementia; some of these may be familiar while others are not as commonly know.



4 comments:

  1. Thank you for this series. My father died a year ago. He had vascular dementia. Educating oneself is so important.

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    1. I am so sorry for your loss; it is hard to lose a loved one. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. I appreciate you stopping by, reading and commenting on my blog. Any info or advice or whatever you wish to share...my e-mail (that I use regularly!! above google e-mail is mostly for this blog!)... london_b@bellsouth.net. Take care and know you are NOT alone. I am here to "listen". Private message on FB or e-mail me...

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  2. Thank you, Barbara, for sharing this helpful info. It is timely for me as I care for my mother. Gratefully~ Renee

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    1. Thank you for reading and commenting...I share hoping it does help others, as it is helping me just to get it written! If you wish to "connect", I have my e-mail listed above or you can PM me on Facebook...I am a good "listener" - just haven't caught up yet with all the blog reading!!

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