Alzheimer's Society explains what vascular dementia is
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Caught in the earliest stages, treatment may be available to stop the disease from worsening, or at least reduce the speed at which it progresses. Here are the early warning signs of vascular dementia. One of the “barely noticeable” signs of the brain condition is problems with concentration, the NHS said. This could be tuning out of a film, TV programme, podcast, or book that usually keeps the person engaged.
Another discreet indication of vascular dementia might include changes to mood and behaviour.
A once cheery person might become more irritable of late, or a person becomes increasingly more agitated.
The NHS added other “early” symptoms of vascular dementia, which may include:
- Slowness of thought
- Difficulty with planning
- Trouble with understanding
- Problems with memory and language.
While these issues can be “barely noticeable” in the beginning, with time, the symptoms become more pronounced.
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“They indicate some brain damage has happened and that treatment is needed,” said the experts at the national health service.
Am I at risk of vascular dementia?
The Alzheimer’s Society – a charity dedicated to dementia information and research – highlighted the risk factors for the brain condition.
For example, a person’s risk of vascular dementia doubles approximately every five years after the age of 65.
While nobody can stop themselves from growing older, there are certain risk factors that are under your control.
For instance, reducing your risk of a stroke, diabetes or heart disease is a key way to reduce your risk of vascular dementia.
In order to do so, the NHS recommends eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, be a non-smoker, and to not drink very much alcohol.
Committing to a daily routine that optimises your health can make a world of a difference to your physical and mental health.
People who make the time to incorporate 30 minutes of activity into their day are onto a strong start.
Understandably, this can be much easier said than done – especially with the demands placed on a person from everyday life.
Another way to keep on top of your health is to attend your free NHS Health Check if you’re 40 years old or older.
A letter should be sent to your home every five years inviting you in for a health check-up.
You can also call the GP surgery to book a Health Check if you haven’t gone to see your doctor.
The doctor’s surgery is also the first point of call for those worried about dementia.
A discussion of your health history may be accompanied by cognitive tests.
“It is often helpful if a close friend or family member accompanies the person to medical appointments,” the experts at Alzheimer’s Society stated.
“They may be able to describe subtle changes that the person themselves has not noticed.”
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