Vascular dementia can be triggered by plaque build-up in brain arteries. This is called atherosclerosis, nicknamed “hardening of the arteries”. See how atherosclerosis develops in this fascinating Mayo Clinic animation.
Keeping track of cholesterol count and blood pressure helps avoid atherosclerosis (and vascular dementia) by keeping our arteries healthier.
Transcript below video.
Here’s how Atherosclerosis usually develops.
The normally smooth inner lining of healthy arteries can become damaged by a number of conditions, for example by high blood pressure. The resulting surface is rougher, allowing fatty components in the blood to stick to it. This buildup is called plaque.
Over time the buildup becomes thicker and less flexible and is sometimes referred to as hardening of the arteries. The channel, through which blood flows, becomes narrower. Plaque is fragile and often rough on the surface, making it more likely for blood clots to form.
It’s possible for large clots to block the flow of blood entirely. In the brain, this can cause a stroke; in a coronary artery, a heart attack.
These events are the foundations of vascular dementia. Avoid the slow, steady buildup of these plaques in the arteries with a long-term heart-healthy lifestyle.
Video and transcript courtesy of The Mayo Clinic