What is Dementia?
Dementia is a group of symptoms leading to cognitive decline. It is very common in older adults. In India, more than 4 million older adults have some form of dementia.
An older adult with dementia has problems with memory, language, judgment, planning, and concentration.
Also Read: Difference between Dementia and Delirium
What is a Stroke?
A stroke happens when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. Blood flow can be interrupted due to two reasons. If it happens because of a blood clot, it is called an ischaemic stroke. If it happens due to the bursting of a blood vessel, it is called haemorrhagic stroke.
If blood flow is interrupted for a short time, it is called transient ischaemic attack (TIA).
There has been more than a 100% increase in the incidence of stroke in India from 1970 to now. According to a study, there were 262 per 100,000 persons with stroke. Stroke incidence for people above 40 years of age is higher than the rest of the population.
Ischemic stroke and TIA both can cause vascular dementia, which is the second most common type of dementia.
Also Read: 10 Early Signs of Dementia
Does a Stroke Increase your Risk to Vascular Dementia?
Brain damage caused by vascular dementia can be seen in 40% of individuals with dementia. Around 10% of individuals with dementia have evidence of vascular dementia. It is, however, very easy to miss as it mostly appears in combination with Alzheimer’s disease.
Although it is quite common after a stroke, not all older adults with strokes suffer from it. The risk of occurrence of vascular dementia depends on your age, gender and family history.
People who have suffered from a stroke are at a greater risk of developing vascular dementia than those who have not had a stroke.
Also Read: Golden Hour After a Stroke
Dementia is a major problem in India. The global age-standardized death rate for dementia is 6.7 per 100,000 for males and 7.7 per 100,000 for females. However, in India, the rate is very high at 13.5 and 11.1 for men and women respectively.
With the media being more aware of dementia, there is a great chance of people getting more information about dementia. In fact, the most common misconception about dementia is that it is a natural part of aging. This and other perceptions like these can change gradually.
The number of older adults in India is increasing. In a few years, a majority of the population will fall into the senior citizen category. Having awareness about dementia and seeking the right treatment at the proper time can help older adults live a happy life.
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