With increasing age, as time continues to pass, the most important asset a person has is the memories they create. All the passing moments, irrespective of them being good or bad, are stored in the complex enfolding of our brain.
It is natural to cherish the simplest of moments of pure joy and lock in memories that contain hard truths of the past. But can you imagine losing them all? Can you imagine waking up and not remembering the importance of your ring anymore?
Imagine not being able to understand why a name sounds so familiar but not knowing what it means? That is what dementia feels like.
An article on Medical News Today gives details of this condition and its relation to increased blood pressure.
Dementia is a collective term that encompasses a range of symptoms and specific medical conditions like Alzheimer’s. Also, it causes abnormalities in the brain, triggers a decline in thinking skills, and impairs quality of life.
The risk of developing dementia increases with age; however, it is not a normal part of aging. Additionally, Alzheimer’s accounts for 60-80 percent of the total number of cases of dementia.
Furthermore, approximately 47.5 million people have dementia worldwide.
Causes of Dementia
Progressive brain cell death that happens due to neurodegenerative diseases causes dementia. Moreover, multiple conditions like head injury, stroke, or brain tumor can lead to dementia.
It can also be caused by:
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and other prion diseases
- Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus
- Some reparable dysfunctions that can be treated also cause dementia. These are treated by reversing the effects of underlying causes.
Since dementia is not a single condition, therefore, it has a diverse range of symptoms. Moreover, these signs and symptoms vary from individual to individual. However, a few symptoms of dementia are:
- Repeating questions
- Incapability of performing regular tasks
- Inability to properly communicate
- Forgetting layman vocabulary
- Problem in logical thinking
- Abrupt change in mood
- Changes in personality
- Loss of interest.
In many diseases, the condition worsens over time, especially in progressive diseases.
Types and Stages of Dementia
Roughly, dementia has been divided into four stages that are:
- Mild cognitive impairment
- Mild dementia
- Moderate dementia
- Severe dementia
Moreover, there are several types of dementia. These include:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Dementia with Lewy bodies
- Multiple types of conditions occurring together cause mixed dementia.
- Parkinson’s disease also shows symptoms that lead to dementia as they are marked by the presence of Lewy bodies.
- Down syndrome increases the likelihood of young-onset Alzheimer’s.
Some factors contribute to the increased risk of dementia. However, age is the biggest predictor. Additionally, some other risk factors are:
- Use of alcohol
- High cholesterol
- Mild cognitive impairment
- High blood pressure
There is no known cure for dementia as the death of brain cells is irreversible. Such dementia is hence incurable; however, managing disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease is focused on instead treating the symptoms.
Conversely, if the cause of dementia is a reversible, non-degenerative condition, treatment may be possible to prevent or halt further damage to the brain tissues. Additionally, some of these causes are injury, medication effects, and vitamin deficiency.
The use can treat symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease of some medications that are called cholinesterase inhibitors.
The increase of blood pressure to unhealthy levels characterizes hypertension or high blood pressure. Typically, the condition develops over the years, and usually, the symptoms go unnoticed.
Over time, high blood pressure leads to other diseases, most prevalently heart-related. Hypertension damages the blood vessels and organs, especially the brain, heart, eyes, and kidneys.
Treating hypertension requires both regular medicine and a lifestyle change. A healthier lifestyle both in terms of diet and physical activity contributes to improving the condition and keeping the blood pressure within controlled limits.
Causes of Hypertension
The type of hypertension that results due to an unidentifiable cause is called primary hypertension. The causes of this may include:
- Physical changes
Moreover, another type of hypertension is secondary hypertension. It may be more severe. Conditions that may cause secondary hypertension are as follows:
- Nephrological disorder
- Sleep Apnea (obstructive)
- Congenital cardiac defects
- Use of drugs
- Chronic use or abuse of alcohol
- adrenal gland problems
Symptoms of Hypertension
Symptoms of hypertension include:
- severe headaches
- drowsiness and feeling dizzy
- pain in chest
- blurry vision
- blood in the urine (hematuria)
What Research Says
The latest research reveals the previously unknown relationship between high blood pressure and dementia. The details given in an article on Medical News Today suggest that hypertension is a risk factor for dementia in women.
Dementia has many prevalent causes; however, it is largely incurable. The research found that diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking, and lower socioeconomic class are all risk factors for developing dementia.
They found that all the mentioned factors posed an equal risk to both men and women. The study conducted at the University of New South Wales in Newtown, Australia, by George Institute for Global Health researchers gave a clear-cut conclusion.
The scientists observed half a million participants and noticed a higher relative risk in women for dementia than men.
This risk was evident in both Alzheimer’s, and vascular dementia as the change in systolic blood pressure in men decreased the risk of dementia. On the contrary, an increase in blood pressure of women increased the risk.
Researchers suggest the disparity in medications of men and women and their adherence to it may cause the difference. They noticed the use of more different medications by women and their unlikeliness to stick to them.
Also, this difference is believed to be because of the more extreme side effects women suffer.
This research is a great opening to further research on other risk factors of dementia as well. Since there is no cure for dementia, this is an initial step towards finding the underlying causes and managing them to prevent further damage.
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