The Connection Between Heart Health and Vascular Dementia

Heart health overall is important and can lead to many other complications if not maintained. It is important to keep a healthy blood pressure, incorporate exercise into your health regimen, keep cholesterol within a normal range and a heart healthy diet inclusive of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, good fats and low sodium.

What is Vascular Dementia? 

Vascular dementia is defined as a decline in thinking skills caused by conditions that block or reduce blood flow to various regions of the brain, depriving them of oxygen and nutrients. Vascular dementia is caused by damage to brain cells that have been deprived of blood flow, oxygen and other critical nutrients due to reduced circulation or blockage of the brain’s blood vessels. Subsequently this damage to the brain can result in cognitive changes and behaviors.

With that being said, heart related issues such as high blood pressure, clogged arteries, and other heart and vascular related issues that decrease the flow of oxygen can increase the risk of vascular dementia.

Vascular dementia signs and symptoms include: (Mayo Clinic Staff , n.d.)

• Confusion
• Trouble paying attention and concentrating
• Reduced ability to organize thoughts or actions
• Decline in ability to analyze a situation, develop an effective plan and communicate that plan to others
• Difficulty deciding what to do next
• Problems with memory
• Restlessness and agitation
• Unsteady gait
• Sudden or frequent urge to urinate or inability to control passing urine
• Depression or apathy

Can vascular dementia improve?

The symptoms of vascular dementia can improve if the conditions that lead to the symptoms improve.

This is why heart health, which can prevent high blood pressure, clogged arteries and strokes, are an integral way to prevent and manage the symptoms of vascular dementia.

Early detection and maintenance has proven to give those with the disease the best quality of life and outcomes.