Vascular dementia

dementia is brain damage, caused by inhibited blood flow to the brain, writes
Rachel Wooller, outreach worker with the Alzheimer’s Society. When someone
suffers a stroke, the supply of oxygen to the brain is compromised, which can
lead to brain damage, and loss of physical and mental ability. A major stroke
can cause confusion, an inability to recall recent events, and the loss of
language or concentration, depending on which part of the brain has been
affected. Stroke-induced brain damage is irreversible, but sometimes the brain
can compensate for the injured areas. Speech therapy and rehabilitation
treatment can help people to relearn physical and mental skills. Multi-infarct
dementia occurs when a series of mini strokes, called transient ischaemic
attacks, cause accumulative brain damage. Often TIAs go unnoticed or are
experienced as dizzy spells, blackouts or falls. Multi-infarct dementia tends
to progress in steps of deterioration, with acute periods of confusion
immediately following a TIA, which level off until the next mini stroke. People
suffering with multi-infarct dementia may experience mood swings, epilepsy and
depression, as associative symptoms of this condition. They may also experience
greater levels of frustration and anxiety, possibly connected with a greater
awareness of their own condition, than is the case with other dementias. High
blood pressure, poor diet, obesity, smoking, alcohol and lack of exercise are
all considered to increase the risk of vascular problems, and therefore of
vascular dementia. While there is no cure for vascular dementia, a healthier
lifestyle, even after a major stroke or TIA, can help to reduce the risk of
subsequent strokes and increased confusion.

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