Dementia and Stroke

Dementia can be caused by stroke, too. Despite common-knowledge, dementia is not only borne from Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and is actually caused by many diseases, one of which is stroke.

Stroke remains the leading cause of long-term disability worldwide. Known as brain attack, stroke mostly affects the brain, which when damaged may lead to physical, functional, and mental disorders, one of which is dementia. Stroke triggers dementia when there is a high concentration of the blood protein ApoE4 who transports cholesterol in the blood. ApoE4 is also linked to cause Alzheimer's disease.

There are many kinds of dementia and the most common one is caused by Alzheimer's Disease. Stroke is also the second cause of dementia after Alzheimer. Aside from stroke, dementia can also be caused by frontotemporal disorders, parkinsonian, and lewy bodies. Each type of dementia has its own effects on the victim resulting to unique patters of behavioral changes.

The type of dementia is determined on which part of the brain is actually affected. But generally, dementia is a brain disorder in which multiple aspects of brain function are persistently compromised in way that interferes with the person's daily normal functions.

Dementia due to stroke or also called vascular / multi-infarct dementia, affects the patient through short-term memory loss, poor concentration, inattention, difficulty to follow instruction, confusion, poor judgment, psychosis, depression, mood and behavioral changes, easily lost in unfamiliar surroundings, and laughing or crying inappropriately.

Treatment of dementia involves enhancement of vascular health, slowing the progress of cognitive decline, and treating symptoms directly related to it such as medication, behavioral intervention, and surgery. Caregiving for stroke victims with dementia requires close attention and extended patience toped with empathy for the patient who is already undergoing a lot with out much of patient wanting it.

Stroke patients with dementia should be cared for by the caregiver by using distractions to control irritable behavior, using visuals to reorient the patient and avoid confusion, establishing a daily routine of activity, simplifying self-care tasks, and communicating with short simple sentences. In short, the caregiver's attitude and tactics are very important to ensure the stroke patient's recovery.

Since dementia appears over later time, it's a must that one is alert of any adverse behavioral changes in the stroke patient to ensure the patient getting immediate medical attention and treatment. A series of tests will be given to the stroke patient before they will be diagnosed of having dementia. A medical interview followed by a neuropsychological testing are tools that will be used to identify if a stroke patient really has vascular dementia.

Dementia can be caused by stroke over time, which heightens the need for caregivers to be aware of its symptoms to ensure appropriate attention is given in a timely manner. To avoid dementia, including NeuroAid at the early stages of a stroke patient's rehabilitation program will help protect neuronal and brain injuries on top of neurological functions recovery.