Vascular Dementia

Vascular dementia is a common type of dementia caused by reduced blood flow to the brain.

Your Vascular dementia risk can be reduced by choosing a healthy lifestyle such as eating a healthy, balanced diet, not smoking, only drinking the recommended units of alcohol and being active. Vascular Dementia tends to get worse over time, although it’s sometimes possible to slow it down.

What causes reduced blood flow to the brain?

  • Narrowing and blockage of the small blood vessels inside the brain
  • A single stroke (where the blood supply to part of the brain is suddenly cut off)
  • Lots of ‘mini strokes’ that cause tiny but widespread damage to the brain
  • In many cases, these problems are linked to smoking and being overweight.

What increases the risk of developing Vascular Dementia?

  • Smoking
  • Lack of exercise
  • Eating unhealthily/being overweight
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol

How can I reduce my risk?

There are changes you can make to your lifestyle that may reduce the risk of you getting vascular dementia.

Have a healthy, balanced diet

  • eat more fruit and vegetables,
  • cut down on fatty foods

More information on healthy eating can be found here.

Exercise regularly

  • exercise for 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week (strength and aerobic)
  • walk instead of using the car
  • use the stairs instead of the lift

More information on exercise can be found here.

Don’t smoke

Every cigarette you smoke causes real harm. Smoking makes your blood thicker, increasing the risk of getting a blood clot. It narrows your arteries, reducing the amount of oxygen reaching your organs and increases your blood pressure, making your heart work harder than normal.

Smoking increases the risk of stroke by 50%, which can cause Vascular Dementia.

If you already smoke, stopping for two years can reduce this risk by half and after five years, your risk will be the same as a non-smoker.

Quitting smoking can be difficult but there is support available.

More information on smoking and how to quit here.

Drink less alcohol

Binge drinking or drinking too much alcohol can damage your health.

Drinking too much alcohol can cause high blood pressure which puts strain on the blood vessels all over the body, including vital arteries in the brain. High blood pressure is a major cause of vascular dementia, stroke or heart attack.

In order to reduce your risk and stay healthy, you should not exceed drinking the recommended units of alcohol per week.

More information on the effects of alcohol and recommended units can be found here.

More information about vascular dementia can be found below:

To find out more information about support services in Salford for people who have dementia please click here.