Video: Vascular Dementia and Changing Levels of Alertness
Vascular dementia (VaD), the decline of cognitive skills due to reduced blood flow to the brain, can be particularly challenging to caregivers due to its unpredictability.
View the video below to learn with dementia expert Teepa Snow why levels of alertness can change throughout the day with people living with VaD.
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"So, let’s look at alertness and arousal, another symptom that is fairly unique about vascular dementia. Do this… [makes hand movement]…all bets off. Because arousal and alertness will be all over the map depending on blood flow to the brain, nourishment of the brain, waste product removal from the brain, at any point in time.
So what we can have is, we can have somebody who is totally intact and functional, and then ten minutes later is coming down the hall “Have you – I can’t find my grandmother.” And you’re like “wow,” what just happened? And then they’re fine again.
We can have a person who has, throughout the day, depending on blood sugar, depending on blood pressures, depending on oxygenation because they have a breathing problem and keep taking their oxygen off, because they don’t like the nasal cannulas, they just take it off, and they go smoke a cigarette. It happens…"