Watching your spouse who used to be very intelligent, innovative and calculative, suddenly became a child who couldn’t differentiate his right from his left, could be painful. At  times, he found it difficult to know where to poo or either to put his food in his mouth or in his washing hand bowl. I watched with tears in my eye as he became so confused over so many things. He struggled to put on his clothes as he found it difficult to know which one is the inner side.This brings tears to my eyes as a child as I thought my father was going crazy, I could not imagine what my mother felt.

I realized at times he would behave well and whenever is blood pressure was high he would start acting funny.He struggled with this for years and when we thought he had overcome it,he slept one afternoon, and died in his sleep.’ This is a true story of a chattered accountant who lost his memory due to high blood pressure which many has taken for granted or as a usual thing. What could be more painful watching a parent suffered this way? When last did you stop to check your blood pressure? When last did you take your medication to control your blood pressure? So many things can be avoided medically if only we show a bit concern or need for it.

‘Uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause problems by damaging and narrowing the blood vessels in your brain. Over time, this raises the risk of a blood vessel becoming blocked or bursting.If a blood cannot carry energy and oxygen to a part of the brain due to a blocked or burst blood vessel, some cells in the brain may be damaged, or even die.This damage can sometimes affect a person’s memory, thinking, or language skills. This is called vascular dementia.

What is dementia?

This is a medical term that describes symptoms such as memory loss, confusion, and problems with speaking and understanding. Dementia is usually progressive, meaning that symptoms can get worse over time.Vascular dementia is the second most common cause of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease. Many people with Alzheimer’s disease are also thought to have some degree of vascular dementia.

The effects of vascular dementia depends on which parts of the brain are affected. Most commonly, people will have difficulty with concentrating or remembering things. Others will have difficulty with speaking or communication.People with vascular dementia can also have difficulties moving around. Some people may be physically disabled or have problems with coordination.There is no cure for vascular dementia, but treatment can slow the speed with which symptoms progress. This is usually done by treating the original cause of the damage to the brain. For example, if the damage was caused by a stroke due to high blood pressure, then treatment will focus on preventing any further strokes.

There is some evidence to suggest that drugs used to treat Alzheimer’s disease can help some people with vascular dementia. However, this may be because many people with vascular dementia also have Alzheimer’s disease.Since vascular dementia is caused by problems with the blood system that supplies the brain, any condition or lifestyle choice that weakens or blocks our blood vessels can cause it. For example, diabetes, high cholesterol and heart problems (such as irregular heart beats) can all cause vascular dementia. This can be avoided by adopting a healthy lifestyle which help to slow the build up of damage to your blood vessels and will reduce your risk of developing vascular dementia. Also, if you have a condition that may damage your blood vessels (such as diabetes, high cholesterol and heart problems) it is important to get them under control.

Those with high blood pressure is a risk factor for vascular dementia. If you can lower your blood pressure through a healthy lifestyle and medication , you can reduce the   risk.Vascular dementia is most commonly caused by the effects of a stroke. You can lower your risk of a stroke by keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol levels down.If you smoke, if you have an unhealthy diet, or if you are overweight or not very active, you should think about changing to a more healthy lifestyle. This will help lower your blood pressure, and lower your risk of developing dementia.

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