Symptoms and Causes to Vascular Dementia

What is vascular dementia?

Vascular dementia is caused by cerebral infarction, cerebral hemorrhage or other related conditions. Symptoms of vascular dementia vary depending on the brain site affected and on the degree of impairment. Therefore, what a patient can do is often relatively clearly distinguishable from what he/she cannot do. Neurological abnormalities, such as paralysis of the hands and feet, may occur.

Cause

When cerebrovascular disorders occur, such as “cerebral infarction,” in which the cerebral blood vessels are blocked, or “cerebral hemorrhage,” in which the blood vessels are ruptured, neurons of the cerebral cortex are damaged. Evidence of impairment can be seen on brain imaging.

(Conceptual diagram)
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Major symptoms

Cognitive impairment

Cognitive impairment

Some abilities are impaired and some remain (lacunar dementia). Judgment and memory are relatively well maintained. “Delirium” may occur, causing sudden deterioration of cognitive function.

Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD)

Patients may lose motivation or spontaneity, or feel down. Patients have wild mood swings, and may cry or get excited by trivial things.

Physical symptoms

Physical symptoms

Cerebrovascular disorders may cause neurological symptoms, such as paralysis and sensory disturbances in the hands and feet. Language disorders or other symptoms may also occur, depending on the site of damage.

Points of management by family members

Regulate lifestyle

Regulate lifestyle

Demotivation and reduced daytime activities cause insomnia or day-night reversal. To maintain a regular lifestyle as much as possible, activities should be gradually increased beginning with simple ones, by making a daily schedule, etc.

  • Begin with activities that the patient can enjoy without straining himself/herself.
  • Stimulate the patient in various ways or by exposure to different persons.
  • Use day care or other services covered by long-term care insurance.
  • Rehabilitation is important.
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