Getting old doesn't mean you will lose your mind, get dementiaAlzheimer's Disease and multi-infarct vascular dementia - things to try, things to prepare for - Causes, symptoms, diagnosis.Age and Dementia don't have to go togetherElderly that remain active in their society allow others to see how valuable they still are, like this lady being part of a fair.

Multi Infarct Vascular Dementia - at last some success - Definition, Types, Causes, Symptoms, Treatments and Preventions.

Mum with vascular dementia
The above picture shows mum, who suffers from multi-infarct dementia, shortly after being placed in a ward for dementia sufferers.

MOST IMPORTANT: People suffering with multi infarct vascular dementia need support. So please read our support page for dementia sufferers before leaving.

This page on Multi-infarct vascular dementia Covers:

1... Multi Infarct Vascular Dementia - the definition, types and symptoms of multi infarct vascular dementia - but their love and their family's love prevails.

2... Multi Infarct Vascular Dementia home treatment / remedy using vinpocetine and fish oil.

3... Multi Infarct Vascular Dementia and the major stroke that can happen.

4... Multi Infarct Vascular Dementia in the near death stage.

5... Multi Infarct Vascular Dementia - Trying to minimise the dementia's effects, perhaps even to prevent the dementia in the first place.

We all get older - you'll never be younger, but if you don't live in fear of dementia, you'll enjoy life a lot better.

1... Definition, types and symptoms of multi infarct vascular dementia.

Multi-infarct vascular dementia is a viscious, unrelentless enemy.

As some of you may be aware, my mother suffers from advanced vascular dementia which is of the multiple infarct dementia type (thousands of mini strokes/transient ischemic attacks or TIA's as they are sometimes called).

Mum's vascular dementia was of the clot type - that is, a clot forms and clogs a blood vessel, thereby preventing cells from getting oxygen and nutrients, hence cells die. The other type of vascular dementia is of the bleeding type - a blood vessel raptures, causing a loss of blood flow to some cells, which then die.

It's important to make this distinction between these two types of vascular dementia, as in the clot type vascular dementia, one want's to thin the blood, as with half an aspirin daily, to help prevent the clots forming or doing damage. With the bleeding type vascular dementia, we want to strengthen blood vessel walls and minimise bleeding when a rapture occurs, so that more blood remains flowing in the blood vessels.

If one was to thin the blood for a bleeder type vascular dementia, it would likely cause the vascular dementia to accelerate much faster, whereas, if the same were done for a clot type vascular dementia, the vascular dementia would likely be expected to be slowed down.

The symptoms of multi-infarct vascular dementia can vary greatly from one sufferer to the next. For example, my mum was able to recall who we, her children were, well into it's advanced stages. My Aunty Myrtle, on the other hand, went more and more back into the memories of her childhood and soon lost the ability to recall who her children were and sometimes confused them with other people from her early past.

The rate of onslaught of, or deterioration from the multi-infarct vascular dementia can vary greatly from between people as well. Mum's vascular dementia slowly reaked it's destruction over many year, while Myrtle, who came down with it much later than mum, has died following the multi-infarct's much more rapid onslaught on her.  Some dementia sufferers only last a few months when placed into a dementia facility - even though their dementia may not be as far advanced as others, they just seem to lose the will to live and die soon after, no matter how homely and nice and friendly the facility may be.  I think it's perhaps more the separation from loved ones and carers, the change in the physical environment, that causes some dementia sufferers to just give up and die.  Lets face it though, for many of those with vascular dementia or Alzheimer's Disease, there will normally come a time when the needs of the dementia sufferer exceed the abilities and or endurance of their carer to look after them.

Any way, after about 5 or 6 years, the multi-infarct vascular dementia has caused mum to become bed ridden, unable to chew, nor talk (except perhaps for yea), nor walk.

2... HOME TREATMENTS / REMEDIES for Multi Infarct Vascular Dementia

About six months ago I gave up on the anti-oxidant approach as a treatment for her multi infarct dementia and begun treatment of the vascular dementia from a different angle.

However, the value of vitamin E and vitamin C as a preventative of vascular disease, including vascular dementia, is supported by research - but with the vascular dementia, you need to catch it in the early stages.

With her doctor's approval, we included into mum's dementia treatment protocol, 10mg of vinpocetine three times daily to maintain a lower blood pressure in the brain. Thereby reducing the risk of further vascular accidents, thereby slowing or stopping the vascular dementia - in theory. The drug also has several other advantages, including some equivalence to Vitamin E in antioxidant effect, known to improve eye sight a bit, hearing a bit, concentration a bit, can help with ringing in the ears... in short, vinpocetine seems good for treating vascular dementia. We also included fish oil into her multi-infarct vascular dementia treatment; begun using high dose fish oil three times a day to help maintain/improve neuron function (it also helps to relieve pain etc).

[ If mum's vascular dementia had been of the bleeder type, I would have tried out the vinpocetine under medical supervision, but the fish oil can aggravate bleeding conditions, so the fish oil would not have been included.  I would have also checked with her doctor about the suitability of using certain herbal hemorrhoid tablet preparations designed to cure hemorrhoids and relieve pain, as the problem with having hemorrhoids is that the veins are weakened and the hemorrhoid preparations sometimes are made to strengthen the walls of blood vessels. ]

After making the adjustments to mum's multi-infarct vascular dementia treatment regime, clotting type, we begun seeing many improvements. She can now follow a person with her eyes and head, like our grand daughter, Hannah, on a Scooter. Mum is now able to sit upright in a wheel chair unsupported, is much more awake and is much more alert to things around her. Even the wheelchair taxi driver, who knows nothing about the vascular dementia treatment being used, has commented about how much better she seems to be doing with each trip. The vascular dementia, in essence, appeared to have been slowed dramatically, perhaps even stopped, allowing the brain time to reogranise it's neural pathways. We were looking at increasing her fish oil intake in the hope it will help alleviate the vascular dementia even further, but according to the American Heart Association, more than three grams of fish oil a day can cause excessive bleeding, so that idea went out the window. Even so, with multi-infarct vascular dementia in the very advanced stage, there is still room for hope when nearly everyone else has given up.

Well, mum came to visit on Christmas day, 2004 - 4 years after entering the dementia unit - courtesy of a wheel chair bus we arrranged. She had improved much more again. She tried to use her fingers to unwrap a present, she tried talking - for the most part unintelligible - and she tried to stand. She was very much alert and awake the whole 90 minutes. These improvements are just mind grabbing and I recall becoming teary thinking maybe we had finally stopped the onslaught of the vascular dementia.

Well, about five or six more months has now gone by, mum is still responsive to us, looks at me when I talk and smiles when I tell she is looking good. Her body, though, may be getting a bit stiffer, but that might be arthritis and cold weather, or, regrettably, the dementia.

3... Multi-Infarct Vascular Dementia and the major stroke that can happen.

Another couple of months further on, a major stroke, devastating about 33% to 60% of one hemisphere. I recall mum losing her best friend this way as well, she also had had dementia. The option was again put to us to let mum die, as they believed she would not recover - but the underlying premise people have, is that when one has dementia, you just let them die. In essence what they are saying, is that dementia is an excuse to deny life, to take life. Like us, you may even encounter arguments to the effect that dementia takes away their honour and pride - my rebuttal is to point out that dementia is something we all fear when we don't have it, but when we do have it, the more advanced it gets, the less we realise we have it - honour, pride, well, dementia doesn't take this from them - we make that choice, so let's let them keep their honour and pride by showing them dignity while treating the dementia.

In short, we don't kill because of disability, multi-infarct vascular dementia or otherwise, so we chose to hospitalise mum, as we believed she could recover and to us, mum was showing small signs of recovery anyway, even though her professional carers couldn't see them. It's taken about two weeks in hospital, with drips running into her to provide her with liquids and so on, but she is now definitely recovering, still able to recognise us, and is now cleared by the speech therapist as being able to eat and drink safely - that is, without it going into her lungs and killing her. It was a massively big vascular accident that did significant damage, but, for now, we defeated the dementia from taking her life.

4... Multi Infarct Vascular Dementia in the advanced stage approaching death:

It's been a number of months now. Mum's body is slowly moving into the fetal position, showing the vascular dementia is still progressing - the doctor stopped the fish oil and vinpocetine as the doctor doesn't believe it can help mum now with the very advanced dementia.

We are again looking at approaching the doctor now that mum has been stable for a while, to reintroduce the vinpocetine and fish oil to help her, but after many years of praying for her, I believe her time left with us is small. She can still smile and she does enjoy having company, even in this extremely advanced stage of dementia.

About 12 months or more have now passed, but with the advanced vascular dementia, even a UTI ( Urinary Tract Infection) can become deadly: Mum was having much difficulty swallowing food and had developed a bad cough, presumably from food and drink going into the lungs, putting her at risk of pneumonia. I had to go through the whole process again in the hospital that the expectation was for mum to be kept alive and not allowed to die. The argument raged for about 30 minutes or so, but eventually the doctor agreed to do as I said.

The more advanced the dementia, generally the more difficult it is for a dementia sufferer to cope with even little problems, like a UTI, with existing abilities, like swallowing, declining rapidly as a result. However, if you treat the problem, the abilities may reappear.

After mum was treated for her urinary tract infection, she got the all clear from the speech therapist that the swallowing reflex was satisfactory and mum was allowed to return to the dementia unit after only a few days in hospital.

We have come to realise that mum is now able to follow us with her eyes, something she didn't seem to be able to do anymore - after her major stroke her eyes seemed to be locked to one side and I would always sit or stand in her direct line of sight as much as I could. So that's a good improvement, even if it is a slow recovery that has taken many months - we thought the dementia had possibly left her blind.

I would also add, that even in this very advanced stage of vascular dementia, mum is still able to visit us - care of the wheel chair bus / taxi. For a sufferer of dementia, the wheel chair bus taxi is possibly one of the most important services for them and their family to have access to.

5... How I would have treated the Multi Infarct Vascular Dementia differently, given what I know now:

If I could go back in time, the things I would change the most would be the inclusion of many more natural treatments and much more vitamin intervention in our fight against the vascular dementia. Specifically, I would adopt the lower cholestrol naturally suggestions I put together; the suggestions which relate to reducing the blood clotting and strokes, as well as those suggestions for improving blood vessel walls. Logically, such vascular improvements would help in the fight against vascular dementia. If I could go back even further in time, I'd try and persuade her to change her eating behaviour, lose some weight. Even if I could do all that, she may still have ended up with the vascular dementia, but at least I would have tried. To be honest, I think we may have prevented or significantly delayed the vascular dementia's onset and progress.

Mum after a big dementia stroke
Mum after her big dementia stroke - about six years after entering instituational care because of the multi-infarct vascular dementia

As vascular dementia and Alzheimers disease have much in common, here's my extensive web page on Alzheimers Disease that I believe has much to offer those with vascular dementia as well. I couldn't include the information here as I would have liked, as search engines frown on duplication of content. The good news is that there are many preventative measures we can take to reduce the chance of getting dementia in the first place.

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