The health of the brain’s blood vessels is closely linked to overall heart health. Keeping the heart healthy may also help reduce the risk of vascular dementia. The smallest blood vessels in the brain don’t tolerate well changes in high blood pressures, high blood sugars, or even inflammation. Important tips on minimizing the risk of developing vascular dementia include: first, maintaining a healthy blood pressure. Keeping the blood pressure in the normal range can help prevent both vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Second, prevent or control diabetes. Avoiding the onset of type two diabetes with diet and exercise is another possible way of decreasing the risk of dementia. If someone already has diabetes, controlling their glucose levels can help protect their brain’s blood vessels from damage. Third, quit smoking. Smoking tobacco damages blood vessels everywhere in the body. Smoking cigarettes is also a common risk factor for stroke due to the damage it causes the blood vessels. Fourth, encourage people to physically exercise. Regular physical activity should be a key part of everyone’s wellness and treatment plans. In addition to all of its other benefits, exercise can help people avoid vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Fifth, keep cholesterol levels in check, but not too low, as cells need cholesterol to function. A healthy diet and cholesterol lowering medication – if needed – can reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks that could potentially lead to vascular dementia. Healthy cholesterol levels reduce the amount of plaque deposits that build up inside the brains arteries, minimizing the risk of strokes and therefore vascular dementia. Minimizing the risk of vascular dementia is often within someone’s control.