Diseases that affect the heart can also affect the memory. Vascular dementia is a common form of dementia that results in memory loss and confusion due to miniature strokes. These “cortical infarcts” are caused by chronic high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and/or coronary artery disease.
Don’t Settle For a Life of Mental Illness and Addiction
Memory loss, confusion, difficulty communicating, compulsive behaviors and depression are just a few common symptoms seen in patients with dementia. Although Alzheimer’s disease is considered the No. 1 cause for dementia affecting 5.4 million people in the United States, according to a 2011 Alzheimer’s Association study, many other types of dementia exist and are commonly forgotten or do not receive as much press as Alzheimer’s.
It is apparent that Alzheimer’s disease is devastating. Witnessing grandparents unable to remember the name of their daughter or their grandchild is heartbreaking. Learning a father has gone missing only to find out he got lost three blocks from his house because he forgot where he was causes immense sadness. Watching a loved one’s mind deteriorate is difficult to handle. So what causes this disease of forgetfulness? Genetics, amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles are the three known causes of Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, these are the only known causes of Alzheimer’s disease.
“In 2009, nearly 66 million Americans (three in 10 U.S. households) reported at least one person providing unpaid care as a family caregiver,” according to “Caregiver Care,” an article published in the journal American Family Physician. Caring for loved ones has several benefits, including personal fulfillment and satisfaction from helping to relieve another’s suffering. It can bring people together and create a stronger bond. It can be a way of “giving back,” as caregivers were taken care of as children at one time or another.