How are Strokes and Dementia related?

Strokes and dementia, while two seemingly different health conditions, are more closely linked than most people think. Both conditions affect the brain and can cause a wide range of symptoms with lasting effects.

Around 1 in 4 people who have had a stroke will go on to develop signs of dementia and without the right care, it can lead to more life-threatening problems. But how can a stroke cause dementia?

To understand the connection between the two conditions, it’s important to first know the signs and causes of the two. Read on to learn more about how you can develop dementia after a stroke and the dangers they both present.

What is a Stroke?

A stroke is caused by damage to the blood vessels in the brain, typically due to a blockage or rupture that interrupts blood flow. Without sufficient oxygen and nutrients from the blood, the damage can lead to a host of neurological problems and result in nerve cells in the brain being damaged or dying.

This can cause a wide range of neurological symptoms including dementia.

During a stroke, changes occur throughout the body as it tries to compensate for the loss of oxygenated blood. These changes include:

Increased heart rate and blood pressure, which can lead to further damage to brain cells if left untreated;

Swelling in certain areas of the brain, which may impair function or cause permanent damage;

Nerve cell death throughout the brain and nervous system, leading to cognitive and neurological problems such as dementia.

What are the signs of a stroke?

While there are numerous symptoms, the most common ones can include vision problems, numbness in the limbs, difficulty speaking or understanding language and confusion or disorientation.

If you experience any of these symptoms or spot these symptoms in a loved one, it is important to seek medical attention straight away, as timely treatment can prevent long-term damage.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is a broad category of brain disorders that cause problems with memory, thinking and overall behaviour. It is most often associated with Alzheimer's disease – the most common form of dementia.

However, there are many other causes of dementia, including head trauma, infections, thyroid problems and, as evident, a stroke.

Much like a stroke, dementia can occur as a result of damage or death to nerve cells in the brain due to reduced blood flow or oxygenation. This can lead to cognitive and behavioural symptoms such as:

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty understanding language
  • Speaking clearly
  • Disorientation and confusion
  • Mood changes

While dementia cannot be cured or reversed once it has developed, early diagnosis and treatment can help minimise its effects on daily life. With the proper care and support, those living with dementia can continue to enjoy meaningful and fulfilling lives.

 

How does Dementia get worse over time?

If a stroke causes dementia or other neurological problems, these symptoms may gradually worsen over time if left untreated.

This is because damaged nerve cells cannot regenerate or repair themselves, leading to ongoing damage and progressive decline in brain function. To manage dementia after a stroke, it is important to seek early diagnosis and treatment from a qualified medical professional. At Mayfair Care Agency, we can assist to determine the level of care that you or your loved one will need in order to provide the best level of care, tailored to you, once a medical diagnosis has been completed.

medication assistance

Other risks of Dementia?

Whilst dementia is closely linked to stroke, there are also other risk factors that can increase your chances of developing dementia. These may include high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes or a family history of dementia.

What is Vascular Dementia?

The link between a stroke and dementia is complex, as both conditions can have a variety of underlying causes.

One type of dementia often associated with a stroke is vascular dementia. Vascular dementia is a type of dementia that is caused by damage to the brain due to reduced blood flow or oxygenation after a stroke. As the affected areas of the brain deteriorate, they interfere with important functions such as memory, language skills and judgment.

In some cases, vascular dementia can even progress more quickly after a stroke if the damaged areas overlap with regions responsible for cognition and behaviour.

Finding the Right Care and Support

If you have concerns about dementia after a stroke or other medical conditions, it is important to seek appropriate medical attention as soon as possible. At Mayfair Care Agency, our expert team  can help them manage their symptoms and maintain a good quality of life in the comfort of their own home.

Contact us today to enquire about finding the right care and support for those suffering with dementia after a stroke.

Would you like further information about Alzheimer’s or Dementia care?

If you would like more details about our Alzheimer’s or Dementia care services, please do not hesitate to call us on 01386 41492 or filling out the form.

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