Dementia expert shares five of the earliest signs of vascular dementia

Alzheimer's Society explains what vascular dementia is

Dementia expert Bernadette Mossman revealed five of the earliest signs of one of the more common types of dementia, vascular dementia.

Approximately one in five people can go on to develop dementia up to six months following a stroke, according to Healthcare Director at Vida Healthcare, Bernadette Mossman.

Mossman explained that this second most common form of dementia can develop as a result of restricted blood flow to the brain, which leads to damaged brain cells.

“The earliest signs of vascular dementia will vary from person to person,” said Mossman. “However, there are some common signs that can occur.”

In the beginning, problems may be barely noticeable or mistaken for other health conditions.

READ MORE… ‘I lost my wife to Alzheimer’s’ – symptoms of dementia

Yet, do raise the alarm if you notice:

  • Slowness of thought
  • Difficulty planning
  • Trouble understanding
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Changes to mood or behaviour.

“They often indicate that some brain damage has occurred and that appropriate treatment is needed,” said Mossman.

She added: “It can take weeks or even months for the thinking process and cognitive abilities to be affected following a stroke.”

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Depending on which areas of the brain are affected, later signs of vascular dementia can include:

  • Significant slowness of thought
  • Feeling disoriented and confused
  • Memory loss and difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty finding the right words
  • Significant personality changes
  • Difficulty balancing which could lead to frequent falls
  • Loss of bladder control.

“There are many risk factors that increase an individual’s probability of developing vascular dementia,” said Mossman.

Increasing age, cardiovascular disease, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking and a poor diet, including excessive alcohol consumption, can be risk factors for developing dementia.

“There are a huge variety of reasons for why someone might develop vascular dementia, however, there are things we can do to prevent it,” said Mossman.

Healthy living choices are one of the most effective methods of prevention, which include:

  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet
  • Staying active
  • Teetotal days
  • Addressing low mood or anxiety
  • Regular health check-ups.

In the UK, the NHS offers a free health check-up for people between the ages of 40 to 74.

“If you’re aged over 65, you’ll also be told about symptoms of dementia to look out for,” the NHS adds.

You’ll usually be told your NHS Health Check results during the appointment.

Vida Healthcare is the UK’s leading provider of specialist care for people living with dementia.

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