A health expert is warning of the common red flag signs of a silent killer disease affecting 180,000 people in the UK each year.
“Vascular dementia is a type of dementia that results from reduced blood flow to the brain due to damaged blood vessels,” said Dr Emer MacSweeney.
Vascular-related issues could include damaged or narrowed blood vessels, which high blood pressure contributes to.
“Strokes, which can damage brain tissue, are a significant factor in the development of vascular dementia, confirmed Dr MacSweeney.
If you have had a stroke, however, “vascular dementia can take some time to become evident”.
Dr MacSweeney says symptoms of vascular dementia develop in a “step-wise” manner over time, typically the result of repeated small strokes or significant strokes.
While symptoms of vascular dementia may vary from person to person, there are some “common early symptoms” to look for.
Dr MacSweeney said these “may involve difficulties with planning, organising, concentrating or making decisions”.
Such symptoms impact a person’s ability to perform daily tasks and usually have an abrupt onset.
Later symptoms can include:
- Severe memory loss
- Impaired motor skills
- Difficulties with speech and language.
“As vascular dementia progresses, the symptoms become more pronounced,” said Dr MacSweeney.
“People with advanced vascular dementia may require assistance with daily activities.”
Dr MacSweeney said: “It’s important to note that the progression of vascular dementia can vary widely from person to person.
“And early detection and appropriate medical care can help manage the condition and improve the quality of life for individuals affected by it.”
Can you prevent vascular dementia?
Dr MacSweeney said: “While you cannot completely eliminate the risk of vascular dementia, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk.
“Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and most importantly proactively managing elevated blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and diabetes, as well as not smoking, all lower risk.
“Regular exercise, a balanced diet and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption are also recommended.”
Source: | This article first appeared on Express.co.uk