FAQ - Dementia, Vascular
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What are the main differences between Vascular Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease?

A member of my family has been diagnosed with Vascular Dementia so the more detail someone can give me, the better. Many thanks.

Vascular dementia is caused by narrowing arteries cutting off oxygen supply to the brain cells - proper medication can really help/even improve mental function IF brain cells haven't been impaired by a stroke. No one yet knows what causes Alzheimer's, but there are connections to the brain not being able to rid itself of waste materials the same way "normal" brains do and that's what many of the meds work on. An Alzheimer's diagnosis is more discouraging because the medications are still all pretty new/experimental and only slow down the progress of the disease, at best. Chances are, with Vascular Dementia, if your family member is able to exercise a little, gets really good nutrition and treatments that clear out arteries, there's a chance for a better quality of life than with Alzheimer's. Good for you for caring enough to search out answers!  (+ info)

The effects of Alzheimers and Vascular dementia?

I need to know the effects of Alzheimers and vascular dementia on the patient and their family. Can anyone help me please.

My Mother has this. They just slowly lose all ability to do anything for themselves. It takes years. At first, she was just very forgetful. Then, it got to where she couldn't be trusted to be by herself. She was forgetting to pay bills and such. Then she got sick with cancer. And before she got bad, she had power of attorney given to my sister. So nothing bad would happen to all of her stuff and she could make medical decisions. It has been about 10 years now, and sadly, we just had to admit her into a nursing home last week. She's getting to hard to care for. She doesn't use the bathroom right, doesn't eat right, nothing. She doesn't really even know us kids. But, somewhere in her mind, she knows she knows us and loves us. But, she does not comprehend that we are actually her children. Not a clue. She no longer recognizes her brothers and sisters. That is because they have not been around enough. The only ones she "kinda" knows, is us kids and her grandkids. And it's because we are around alot. It just slowly robs you of all your memory. And anything you know how to do. Even simple things. Like making toast, or coffee, or changing clothes, etc.. It's a sad thing to go through. My sister has had the worst. Being the main caretaker. But we have all had a hard time with it. We really have already "lost" our Mother. She has been gone for some time now. But, her body is still with us and that little sparkle in her eye when she sees us. And we are not willing to give that up yet. We take what we can get. It's hard. If you need more, just email me and I'll write back. This is a really tough thing to go through. Well wishes.  (+ info)

What is the difference between Vascular Dementia and Alzheimer's disease.?

I read today that Norman Wisdom has Vascular Dementia but a TV reporter was talking about him having Alzheimer's. I think his family said Vascular but what is the difference?

alzheimers is the classic type of dementia with a progressive pattern affecting cognitive function, vascular dementia has similar symptoms ie cognitive - behaviour, thought process, recognition but can often be caused by a number of mini strokes where the blood supply to the brain is reduced - this can mean the progression of the disease is stepped rather than a smooth progression - is more unpredictable and can progress quickly.  (+ info)

What are the differences between Altzeimers and Vascular Dementia?

I have been diagnosed with white matter ischemic disease and have found a scary correlation with the above conditions. Is there any way to slow down any of these conditions?
Thank you for your answers and God Bless You!

Well, vascular dementia is basically a series of small (and sometimes not so small) strokes that over time add up to cause an impairment of memory and function that qualifies as dementia. It can be prevented (or slowed) in all the same ways you can reduce your chances of having a stroke, low cholesterol diet, no smoking, basically whatever is good for the heart is good for the brain.
Alzheimer's disease is something else entirely, we're not sure exactly what causes it, nor exactly how to prevent it (apart from remaining active, which seems to help), the mechanism by which is causes dementia is different as well.  (+ info)

what can be done to reduce the risks of vascular dementia?

In what ways does vascular usually differ from Alzheimer's disease?

Ande that is disgusting, grow up and get a life and a little respect why don' you!

I think the two are very closely linked, this site helped me a lot when my Mum was diagnosed.


I hope you find the answers you are looking for  (+ info)

Can a person with vascular dementia get better?

My dad was diagnosed with vad 6 months ago. The Dr. put him on aricept and namenda and six months later he is doing great.Is this normal? What can I expect for his future?

Yes and no. My mom had it, too. She had both her carotids operated on, and got much better for a long while. Medication can help, too, but I've not heard of anyone getting truly cured.

It's good that the aricept worked for him; they didn't used to prescribe it for VAD.

I think if he watches his diet, doesn't smoke or drink -- my mom wasn't able to successfully do any of those :-) -- the future should be pretty bright.

Good luck to you - it's so difficult when our parents start faltering - we're so used to thinking of them as all powerful!  (+ info)

Can anyone recommend any 'good' support groups/websites for relatives of sufferers of vascular dementia?

It's been suggested that I join a group as a relative of mine has been diagnosed with this. Many thanks.

Here you go... Hope this helps  (+ info)

Vascular Dementia- does it get worse, or need treatment?

My mom has had a small stroke and appears to have vascular dementia. The doc does not seem keen to treat it, but her symptoms are very bad. They are mostly physical. Would the drugs used to treat it (alzheimer's drugs) prevent any further damage?

It was caused by a small stroke and I read that it is caused by more small strokes, but I am still wondering if the drugs would help. Will it get worse without treatment?

If your mother has vascular dementia then yes she will likely get worse, generally patients follow a step wise pattern of decline where they suddenly get worse following another small stroke, then are stable, then get worse following another stroke (alzheimers pts typically have a steady decline). In terms of treatment, one way is to treat your mum to lessen her risk of having another stroke, for example daily aspirin, statins to lower cholesterol, and antihypertensives to keep her Blood pressure under control. These will not improve her condition but rather stop her getting worse. The alzheimers drugs such as donepezil and galantamine i am not so familiar with, i think they have off label uses in vascular dementia and studies have shown some benefit in symptoms. They are acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and improve symptoms to some degree in alzheimers so they may be of some help to your mum. You should talk to your doc in more depth about treatment options and if necessary get a second opinion. I hope this helps and your mum does well.  (+ info)

Does anyone have any great gift ideas for someone with vascular dementia (similar to Alzheimer's)?

My mother has vascular dementia - the symptoms are similar to those of Alzheimer's, except that the rate of progression of symptoms is different. My mother can no longer speak, and she is in a wheelchair. She does not/can not read anymore. She remembers things and ideas, but often gets them confused. For instance: she remembers how to play checkers, but often moves pieces of the wrong color during the game, or starts going the wrong direction. I read somewhere that items like a bag of buttons to sort are good ideas. However, she often flushes small items like that down the toilet. For many months she enjoyed coloring, but no longer takes an interest in it...I think she has too much difficulty with the fine motor skills.

I would appreciate any gift ideas anyone might have.

One of our writers at the Gilbert Guide, Ami Icanberry, just wrote a blog piece about gift ideas for those with dementia or Alzheimer's. Here are some gifts from her her Top 5 lists that may be good for your mother. It sounds like your mother is in the mid- to later stages so I have only included those items. In the lists below many items are available at The Alzheimer’s Store, a company owned by Ageless Design, which provides “unique products and information for those caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease.”

Picks for Middle-Stage:

1. Conversation and Song (which are video tapes available from The Alzheimer’s Store)
2. Activity Apron (which is good for tactile stimulation--and is big enough not to get flushed)
3. Photograph albums (pleasant to flip through and can help with reminiscing)

Late-Stage Picks:

1. “Someone To Care For” Baby Doll from the Alzheimer's Store
2. Garden Delights DVD from the Alzheimer's Store
3. Photograph albums
4. Visits with animals (well-trained animal visitors can be quite soothing)
5. Hand and arm massage from a masseuse.

Hope a few of these ideas catch your eye, and are able to offer some level of peace, comfort and fun for your mom and you during this holiday season.

Gilbert Guide  (+ info)

can anyone tell me how beneficial oxygen is for vascular dementia? and how can one get hold of it?

having heard from a friend whose parent had dementia and when admitted to hospital for something else was put on oxygen and became very lucid and their memory was restored to a great degree after 7 years in a home for people with dementia. unfortunately she died of a different problem so we have no idea if oxygen therapy could have helped long term. Any ideas ?

i was a nurse for a number of years,benefits sound great  (+ info)

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