Vascular Dementia: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Among the neurological diseases associated with aging, dementia is among the most common. They are a group of relatively varied disorders, but in general they are related to the appearance of memory and language problems.

In this article We will focus on vascular dementia or multi-infarct dementia, a disease with serious effects on the brain.

What is vascular dementia?

We understand vascular dementia as a form of neurological disorder whose most important symptom is the loss of memory and memory skills and which, in addition, has been caused by ischemic problems in the brain.

In short, in vascular dementia the impairment of cognitive, motor and emotion regulation abilities They occur due to the death of large numbers of neurons and glial cells that, due to small cerebral infarctions, are left without oxygen.

Thus, the main cause of this disease is strokes, although these are also associated with risk factors to take into account.

Risk factor’s

The presence of diabetes or hypertension It is one of the main risk factors, since people who have these conditions have a greater chance of developing vascular dementia.

On the other hand, smoking, alcoholism, high cholesterol levels in blood, autoimmune diseases and in general belonging to a low socioeconomic class also make the chances of developing this disease grow significantly. Going through complex surgeries in which general anesthesia is used, on the other hand, is also a risk factor.

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Regarding age, The most threatened group is those between 50 and 60 years old.followed by the one that goes from 60 to 70. In the case of men, the risk is greater, since this is a disease that affects men more.

Symptoms and signs

Symptoms of vascular dementia can vary greatly, since the areas of the brain affected by ischemic attacks are also very varied. However, it is possible to recognize certain patterns of deterioration that occur in a large number of cases in which the patient presents this disease. These symptoms are as follows.

1. Abulia

People with this type of dementia tend to become self-absorbed and lack willpower or motivation, a phenomenon known as avolition. This means that certain cases may seem like patients with disorders associated with depression.

2. Confusion and disorientation

Problems when it comes to knowing where and when you are are also common. The appearance of these moments is usually abrupt, and they worsen over time. These episodes can appear in the form of outbreaks They disappear in a matter of minutes, although with increasing age they become longer and more common until they become the normal psychological condition of the person.

3. Personality change

This is the symptom that patients’ families complain about most. In a short time, people with vascular dementia can begin to show a personality significantly different from the one that has defined them throughout their lives.

4. Frequent falls and gait disturbances

Alterations in posture and lack of coordination of movements They are also two typical symptoms that appear when the course of the disease has already advanced after the first phases of deterioration. This causes these people to fall more frequently.

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Types of vascular dementia

Vascular dementia is a clinical concept that is not composed of identical diseases. That is why a series of categories, or types of vascular dementia, have been established to distinguish the characteristics of the health problem suffered by each patient. These diagnostic categories are the following.

Binswanger’s disease

Also known as subcortical vascular dementia, in this disease the cellular tissue that has been affected by the lack of oxygen is the connective tissue, that is, the tissue that makes up the white matter. located below the cerebral cortex.

This disorder is usually associated with problems with mental agility and language, as well as memory, although the exact symptoms vary depending on the lobe and hemisphere of the brain that has been affected. Problems regulating emotions is also relatively common.

Cortical vascular dementia

In this disease the dead cells are located in the cerebral cortex. In many cases, the lack of blood flow has been generated by thrombosis or cerebral embolism affecting relatively small areas.

Mixed dementia

This category is used to include cases in which the disease may have been caused by degenerative processes that have occurred in parallel, such as different types of dementia and/or Alzheimer’s disease.