DIET AND FITNESS:

Vascular Dementia -- Causes and
Remedies
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Last updated May 19, 2017, originally published November 16, 2011

By Alison Turner, Contributing Columnist



6.
Watch out for hypertension.

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is the increased pressure in
pulmonary arteries, where blood is carried from the heart to
the lungs in order to pick up oxygen.  This increased
pressure can cause
shortness of breath, tiredness, chest
pain, and a racing heart.  The National Heart Lung and Blood
Institute states that many factors can lead to PH, yet in many
cases there are no known causes.  It can be inherited or
arise form other diseases such as HIV infection,
sleep apnea
and sickle cell disease.

A group of researchers working in both Norway and London
recently found evidence that vascular dementia can also be
related to hypertension.  Along with several colleagues, Dr.
Sally Sharp with the Wolfson Centre for Age-Related
Diseases, King's College London,  conducted an analysis of
data from eleven studies and nearly 800 patients with
vascular dementia.  These studies show that “hypertension
significantly increases the risk of vascular dementia” so that
the authors recommend that “rigorous treatment of
hypertension” is a “key measure to help prevent the
development of VaD.”

High blood pressure can be reversed. Natural, medicinal,
procedural and therapeutic treatments are used to relieve
symptoms .   If you think you may suffer from hypertension,
the best thing you can do for yourself is get it checked out
by a doctor – the earlier the detection the better your
chances for effective treatment of symptoms or further
complications, including vascular dementia. (Read more
about
natural remedies for high blood pressure.)

7.
Some genes have all the (bad) luck.  

Even if we follow the right diets, exercise regimes and other
lifestyle choices, we cannot guarantee ourselves a life free of
vascular dementia.  Work in 2010 by various U.S.
institutions, led by Dr. Yi-Fang Chuang with the Johns
Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore,  
suggests that vascular dementia could be passed along
genetically.  After sampling more than 5,000 adults the
researchers found that variations on an allele in the the
apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene “confers a significant risk for
VaD.”

While we may not be able to change our genes, we may be
able to use them for earlier detection of diseases such as
vascular dementia. As with any disease, early detection is
usually crucial to the best possible management of symptoms.


8.
Protect your children from second hand smoke.





























While some people contract vascular dementia from familial
genes, others may suffer the same disease because of a
family member’s addiction to – and public use of – cigarettes.

In 2008 Drs. Brian McGurn, Ian Deary, and John Starr with
the Geriatric Medicine Unit at the University of Edinburgh ,
studied the connection between “lower premorbid cognitive
ability” (“premorbid” meaning before the onset of a disease)
and vascular dementia.  They state that “lower premorbid
cognitive ability is associated with both increased vascular
risk and reduced cognitive reserve, a measure of brain
vulnerability.” After analyzing data from nearly 300 cases of
late onset dementia they found that “vascular dementia
cases had significantly lower premorbid cognitive ability.”

What does a child´s “low cognitive ability” have to do with
cigarettes, you may ask?  A 2004 investigation into second-
hand smoke and the cognition of more than 5,000 children
between the ages of 6 and 16  led by Dr. Kimberly Yolton
with the Cincinnati Children’s Environmental Health Center at
the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center  found
evidence that “tobacco smoke exposure is linked with
intellectual impairments and behavioral problems in
children.”  This is particularly alarming because more than 40
percent of U.S. children are exposed to second hand smoke
in their homes – and thus 40 percent of today´s U.S.
children are at a greater risk for vascular dementia.

9.
Quit smoking around your child – and while you´re at it,
quit smoking anywhere!

While smoking may increase your child’s odds of vascular
dementia later in life (see above), it can also directly increase
your own risk.  This year (2011), a study conducted by
researchers in Finland, Sweden and California, led by Dr.
Minna Rusanen with the Departments of Neurology at the
University of Eastern Finland
looked at data of over 400 cases of VaD.  They found that
“heavy smoking,” (more than two packs a day) in midlife
was “associated with a greater than 100% increase in risk”
for vascular dementia two decades later.  

Just another reason to quit as soon as possible, for good.

10.
Look out for elevated levels of plasma homocysteine.

Homocysteine is an amino acid (a building block of protein)
that is produced naturally in the body. Recent studies find
that higher-than-normal levels of homocysteine can increase
chances for heart disease, strokes , and even vascular
dementia.  

In 2002 Dr. Stephen McIlroy with the Department of
Geriatric Medicine at the Queen´s University in Belfast,
Ireland,  worked with a team of specialists on the relation
between elevated plasma homocysteine and vascular
dementia.  They found that patients with VaD had higher
levels of plasma homocysteine than patients who did not
have VaD.

Our levels of homcysteine are determined by genetics and
lifestyle.  Unable to change anything about out genes, no
matter how hard or frequently we may wish to do so,
lifestyle choices offer more fruitful effects.  Recent work
suggests that low levels of vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid
may be related to high levels of homocysteine. These
vitamins can be found in fortified foods such as fortified
cereals or as supplements.    































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/
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Foods That Lower Cholesterol/ VLDL-The Other Cholesterol/
Foods That Reduce Blood Pressure

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