Types of dementia: From vascular to Alzheimer’s | EUROtoday

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This is the place mind deterioration is brought on by injury to the delicate blood vessels that provide the mind with the oxygen and vitamins it must proceed functioning. The injury might be brought on by small blood clots, which may induce mini-strokes, or the gradual thickening of the blood vessel partitions within the mind, which reduces blood move and results in cell dying.

Symptoms of vascular dementia can embrace issues with reminiscence, language, decision-making and co-ordination.

Scheltens says that individuals with elevated ldl cholesterol, hypertension or cardiovascular illnesses, equivalent to Type 2 diabetes, are extra susceptible to vascular dementia. “Eighty per cent of the time, blood pressure is the cause of these vascular changes,” he says. “So that and cholesterol changes are really the contributing factors to the vascular changes in the brain that occur relatively late in life.”

The most important therapies are a mixture of life-style suggestions equivalent to growing train, quitting alcohol and smoking, and shedding pounds, together with medicines to handle blood stress and ldl cholesterol.

However, circumstances the place dementia is pushed totally by vascular issues are comparatively uncommon. “Most often in elderly patients over the age of 75 or 80, it’s a combination of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular changes on top of it,” he says.

While blended dementia has historically been considered one of many least widespread types of the illness, Scheltens says that neurologists are more and more realising that the overwhelming majority of dementia circumstances truly characteristic a combination of components from numerous particular person dementias.

“If you ask pathologists, they’ll say that in the elderly, it’s almost all mixed,” he says. “The pure cases of Alzheimer’s are quite rare, and they tend to be people who have early-onset Alzheimer’s. All the rest usually have combinations of Alzheimer’s and vascular changes, or other pathologies such as Lewy bodies.”

He believes that progress in mind imaging will more and more permit medical doctors to make extra correct assessments of what precisely is happening within the mind in every dementia case. In the approaching years, this might make it simpler to design mixtures of therapies and life-style interventions which might be appropriate for every explicit affected person.

“It’s still early days with some of these disease-modifying treatments which are being developed for Alzheimer’s and other dementias,” he says.

“But in future, the first step will be to inform the patient of lifestyle changes to treat any cardiovascular risk factors, and then try to apply combinations of available treatments.”