Monday, 23 January 2017

Vascular Dementia

From the Alzheimer's Association

Vascular Dementia

Vascular dementia is a decline in thinking skills caused by conditions that block or reduce blood flow to the brain, depriving brain cells of vital oxygen and nutrients.
About vascular dementia

Related dementias share some common symptoms

Vascular changes that start in brain areas that play a key role in storing and retrieving information may cause memory loss that looks very much like Alzheimer's disease.

Inadequate blood flow can damage and eventually kill cells anywhere in the body. The brain has one of the body's richest networks of blood vessels and is especially vulnerable.

In vascular dementia, changes in thinking skills sometimes occur suddenly following strokes that block major brain blood vessels.

Thinking problems also may begin as mild changes that worsen gradually as a result of multiple minor strokes or other conditions that affect smaller blood vessels, leading to cumulative damage.

A growing number of experts prefer the term "vascular cognitive impairment (VCI)" to "vascular dementia" because they feel it better expresses the concept that vascular thinking changes can range from mild to severe.
Vascular brain changes often coexist with changes linked to other types of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. Several studies have found that vascular changes and other brain abnormalities may interact in ways that increase the likelihood of dementia diagnosis. Sign up for our enews to receive updates about Alzheimer’s and dementia care and research.
Vascular dementia is widely considered the second most common cause of dementia after Alzheimer's disease, accounting for 10 percent of cases. Many experts believe that vascular dementia remains underdiagnosed — like Alzheimer's disease — even though it's recognized as common.
Learn more: Key Types of Dementia, Mixed Dementia

Symptomsback to top

Symptoms can vary widely, depending on the severity of the blood vessel damage and the part of the brain affected. Memory loss may or may not be a significant symptom depending on the specific brain areas where blood flow is reduced.

Vascular dementia symptoms may be most obvious when they happen soon after a major stroke. Sudden post-stroke changes in thinking and perception may include:
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Vision loss
These changes may happen at the same time as more familiar physical stroke symptoms, such as a sudden headache, difficulty walking, or numbness or paralysis on one side of the face or the body

Multiple small strokes or other conditions that affect blood vessels and nerve fibers deep inside the brain may cause more gradual thinking changes as damage accumulates.

Common early signs of widespread small vessel disease include impaired planning and judgment; uncontrolled laughing and crying; declining ability to pay attention; impaired function in social situations; and difficulty finding the right words.

Learn more: Warning Signs from the American Stroke Association

Diagnosisback to top

Because vascular cognitive impairment may often go unrecognized, many experts recommend professional screening with brief tests to assess memory, thinking and reasoning for everyone considered to be at high risk for this disorder.
Individuals at highest risk include those who have had a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA, also known as a "ministroke").

Additional high-risk groups include those with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or other risk factors for heart or blood vessel disease.

Professional screening for depression is also recommended for high-risk groups. Depression commonly coexists with brain vascular disease and can contribute to cognitive symptoms.

If brief screening tests suggest changes in thinking or reasoning, a more detailed assessment is needed. Core elements of a workup for vascular dementia typically include:
  • A thorough medical history, including family history of dementia
  • Evaluation of independent function and daily activities
  • Input from a family member or trusted friend
  • In-office neurological examination assessing function of nerves and reflexes, movement, coordination, balance and senses
  • Laboratory tests including blood tests and brain imaging
According to a 2011 scientific statement issued by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Stroke Association (ASA), and endorsed by the Alzheimer's Association and the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), the following three criteria suggest the greatest likelihood that mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia is caused by vascular changes:
  1. The diagnosis of dementia or mild cognitive impairment is confirmed by neurocognitive testing, which involves several hours of written or computerized tests that provide detailed evaluation of specific thinking skills such as judgment, planning, problem-solving, reasoning and memory
  3. There is brain imaging evidence, usually with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), showing evidence of either:
    • A recent stroke, or
    • Other brain blood vessel changes whose severity and pattern of affected tissue are consistent with the types of impairment documented in neurocognitive testing
  4. There is no evidence that factors other than vascular changes are contributing to cognitive decline.
The guidelines also discuss cases where the diagnosis may be less clear-cut, such as the common situation where vascular changes coexist with brain changes associated with other types of dementia.
Learn more: AHA/ASA Scientific Statement: Vascular Contributions to Cognitive Impairment and Dementia, Mixed Dementia

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Tour de Yorkshire 2017

This is brilliant to see and good advertising

 Alzheimer’s Society win official charity partnership with Tour de Yorkshire 2017

Published 2 December 2016
Alzheimer’s Society has been selected to be the official charity partner of the Tour de Yorkshire 2017, an internationally-renowned professional cycling event taking place 28-30 April.

The event will be televised live internationally and last year over 2 million supporters lined the route; it is therefore an amazing opportunity for the Society to raise awareness of dementia and of our work, and also to raise much needed funds to help us in the fight against dementia.

Volunteer at the cycling event

The news was announced at a press conference on 2nd December at the Impressions Gallery, Bradford, where the full race route was also unveiled. The men’s race will take in the six host towns of Bradford, Bridlington, Fox Valley (Sheffield), Harrogate, Scarborough and Tadcaster over three stages.
Tour de Yorkshire, now in its third year, is organised by Welcome to Yorkshire and was originally inspired by the resounding success of the Grand Depart of 2014’s Tour de France, which took place in Yorkshire. It is now the best-attended professional cycle race in the UK, and includes a high profile women’s race.
Keen amateur cyclists can sign up to the Tour de Yorkshire Ride. All participants will be given the option to ride in aid of Alzheimer’s Society, making every mile count by raising vital funds for those affected by dementia.
Michael Dent, Director of Fundraising, said of the news:
'Alzheimer’s Society are thrilled to have been selected to be the official charity partner of Tour de Yorkshire 2017. This fantastic event will give us the opportunity to raise awareness of dementia across Yorkshire and the whole of the UK, where over 850,000 people are currently living with dementia.
Funds raised will help support our vital work in medical and social research, advice and support and campaigning. We also look forward to engaging new audiences with our Dementia Friendly initiatives, which help make life better for all those affected by dementia in our communities.'
Alzheimer’s Society are seeking hundreds of volunteers to help raise as much money as possible during the partnership to support those affected by dementia, with a variety of roles available including volunteer collectors to raise funds along the route of the three-day bike race, as well as volunteer coordinators to help organise the fundraising activity at the event.
Alzheimer’s Society are also keen to hear from any businesses, schools, cycling clubs or other organisations who would like to get involved in supporting the partnership.
Want to help us raise funds and awareness of dementia during TDY 2017? Register your interest in one of a variety of fundraising volunteer roles we have available.
Want to arrange your own fundraising event or activity to celebrate our partnership with Tour de Yorkshire and to raise vital funds for those affected by dementia? Please email to get in touch with our fundraising team.
Want to ride a stage of the Tour and raise vital funds for Alzheimer’s Society? Visit the Tour de Yorkshire website for more information, with further exciting updates coming soon!
If you have any questions for the team, or would like to get involved in any other way, please contact

Tour de Yorkshire and Alzheimer's Society

Friday, 20 January 2017

Relaxing day

I had a relaxing day yesterday, and ended up sleeping through the night without any problems.

In the morning I had to travel to the Metro Centre to pick up a DVD, which had been copied from a video cassette. This was taken in Durham Cathedral when my Mother was one of the Broderers making things like Altar Cloths etc, for the Cathedral.

It was lovely watching this because she looked so happy doing this work.

She had enjoyed doing embroidery most of her later years, as she found it so relaxing, especially after a long day looking after my father, who had struggled with quite a few mini strokes and then had dementia.

After this I went out for a walk to the Riverside Park, to see the swans. I also had my camera with me, although I was unsure of the settings, because its been a while since I used it.

But it was nice sitting with the swans even though it was a little cold.

The river had been flooded over the last few days, and still looked a little muddy compared to it's usual colour, but its been a while since I managed to get this far so it was lovely. I was amazed just how much debris there was lying around, so the river must have been quite high the day before ave

For some reason I feel quite at home sitting with these wonderful birds, big as they are when they
come close.

I have found in the past that if its quiet, they will come up and sit down beside me if I sit still. They can be intimidating when they stretch, but its lovely to get so close to nature like this

 I know that they had been fed by the Swan keeper earlier, but its amazing just how calming these animals can be when they get up close, I guess that they are very inquisitive about me

There are around 100 swans in this area, although we lost most a year or so ago through what was believed to be lead poisoning, prior to that we had over 120 swans here.

This is a bird watchers paradise at times, and its so nice to see it all

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

nightmares back again

After a light dose of medication, the nightly horrors of graphic nightmares  I struggled with for a few years,   seemed to stop, and I thought that I had got rid of them.

But these things have returned again, and it's becoming stressful.

These started a few years ago when I was diagnosed as having a form of Lewy Body Dementia / Parkinsonism. 

The problem being that you act these graphic nightmares out, and can remember them in great detail during the next day.

Nurses are told to speak quietly and touch the person going through these, in the hope of bringing them out of this

But as I pointed out to graduate nurses while giving a presentation last year, this can be highly dangerous to anyone trying to help.

As my  wife has found out at times, that is hazardous, because she  can become part of the nightmare, and then get hurt in the process.

My wife tried this one night, and ended up with a nasty black eye and bruises after one nightly horror show, and that was upsetting for me, as well as for her.

This proved that it can be hazardous, if you get too close to someone going through one of these nightly horror shows.

I understand that  I lash out and kick out, once these things start.

There seems to be no reason for these, as many of them bare no links to reality, and that makes life hard to work out.

A few years ago the medication was stepped up In  the hope of stopping this, but it was so bad one night that I tried to climb out of a third floor  hotel window, in the hope of getting away from the nightmare. Luckily for me the windows only opened so far,  so I never got out

A friend of mine who lived with the same illness, thought his dreams bore a resemblance to pictures of Terry Pratchets books, and I agreed with some of this.

After a nightmare, if I am lucky enough to wake up on my own, I usually get up, and either sit in the bathroom, or go downstairs for a while, if I am not feeling wobbly.

However sometimes,  these things start off all over again from where they had stopped, and that is terrifying

I think part of the problem is that when I  wake up, I cannot tell the difference between the nightmare or reality, and it seems to take a while to settle down.

A few years ago after a flood damaged our home we were moved into a small flat, and one night I had the worst night I had ever had.

I was convinced that I had woken up from a nightmare and had gone into the sitting room, had a cup of tea, and had then gone to the toilet. This happened three times, then I eventually woke up and realised that it was all part of the nightmare.

My wife said I woke up in a total  panic

Although there was no damage at all, this  shook me rigid because I was convinced that I had been up three times, and had gone to the toilet.

Having totally demolished two bedside lights and other things, there is now nothing important next to my side of the bed.

After seeing the damage after a bad night, it brings you down to earth a little

But I could describe everything in great detail, when I wake up,  which is not nice.

I confess that I am absolutely terrified of ever being sent into a hospital, because I have no control over what happens during these nights, and the last thing I want is to be charged with assaulting a nurse or anyone else, while I am going through a night like this.