Following are some facts and tips regarding this form of dementia:

  • The third leading cause of death
  • Affects 700,000 persons yearly: two-thirds survive
  • Depression is common with a 20 percent occurrence rate
  • Generally the result of various diverse processes involving the brain and heart
  • There can be silent events that occur in the brain leading to cognitive decline that the person remains unaware of
  • Hypertension and history of stroke results in increased risk of dementia
  • Slow process in the brain
  • Incidence rate in women rises from 0.3 to 1.36 with the age range of 65 to 69, increasing to 9.3 for the age of 85 years and older
  • Incidence rate for men is between 1.3 and 2.2 for age 65 to 69, rising to 9.3 and 15.9 for the age of 90 years and older

Common Risk Factors:

Genetic factors versus modifiable risk factors:

Modifiable Risk Factors:

  • Smoking
  • Poor diet
  • Overweight
  • Poor nutrition
  • Smoking
  • Lack of exercise
  • High blood pressure
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Sleep apnea
  • Alcohol abuse (3 or more drinks per day for 3 to 4 days per week found to be significantly associated with risk for future TIA events, transient ischemic stroke)

Genetic Factors:

  • Age
  • Diabetes
  • Family History

Symptoms often Observed with Cardiovascular Dementia:

  • Memory is confused; there are losses of information, what the person recalls can be incorrect, altered, or distorted
  • Poor sustained attention
  • Continually distracted by the irrelevant (information that is not relevant or germane to the topic being discussed)
  • Constant interference of processes of selective attention, taking in all the information from the environment, whether it is relevant or not leading to the continual interference of excess stimuli
  • Tendency to shift from one task to another without completing any tasks, or unable to complete a given task within a specified period of time
  • The tendency to interrupt others and blurt out statements or comments
  • Getting stuck on one issue or thing, perseveration
  • Confusion in learning new information
  • Difficulty with any step by step, sequential instruction such as how to work a piece of machinery or small appliance
  • Problems planning, organizing or making decisions
  • Paper piles become larger and more disorganized
  • The day passes without being able to decide upon which task to complete
  • Daily routines are easily disrupted and lost
  • Emotional reactivity, becoming impulsive, overly judgmental and critical of others
  • Social withdrawal, signs of depression
  • Social mistakes, saying or doing the wrong thing at the wrong time
  • Inappropriate sexual behavior or comments
  • Problems communicating thoughts due to lost words
  • Statements may not make sense or relate to the conversation
  • Behavior from the past emerges, extreme anger not seen for many, many years reappears
  • There can be a loss of inhibition, they feel it, they do it
  • Loss of a sense of self, connection to the past, values, morals and beliefs
  • Loss of future plans based upon value and belief system
  • Not aware of time, poor time management, sense of time
  • Difficulty anticipating consequences of one’s actions, the wrong place at the wrong time

Look at Tips for Aging Gracefully, Non-Medical Treatment of any Brain Injury or Dementia articles also available on this website.