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An introduction to Vascular Dementia

 

Vascular Dementia is the second most common type of dementia, caused by a lack of blood flow to the brain, which leads to a cognitive decline that affects an individual's daily life. People living with Vascular Dementia experience problems with memory, thinking or reasoning.

The most common cognitive symptoms in the early stages of Vascular Dementia

• Problems with planning or organising, making decisions or solving problems

 • Difficulties following a series of steps (e.g. cooking a meal)

• Slower speed of thought

• Problems concentrating, including short periods of sudden confusion

 • Memory - problems recalling recent events (often mild)

• Language - (e.g. speech may become less fluent)

 • Visuospatial skills - problems perceiving objects in three dimensions

It is common for someone with early Vascular Dementia to experience mood changes, such as apathy, depression or anxiety. A person with Vascular Dementia may also become generally more emotional. They may be prone to rapid mood swings and being unusually tearful or happy.

As Vascular Dementia progresses, many people also develop behaviours that seem unusual or out of character. The most common include irritability, agitation, aggressive behaviour and a disturbed sleep pattern.

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