Vascular dementia

Vascular dementia is the second most common cause of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease.

What is Vascular dementia?

Vascular dementia is the second most common cause of dementia and can occur when blood flow to the brain becomes reduced. Some people have both vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease – often called mixed dementia.

Vascular dementia can also be called vascular cognitive impairment. Vascular dementia is sometimes given more specific names based on the changes in the brain that cause it. The most common of these are:

  • Stroke-related dementia. This describes vascular dementia that develops after a stroke (called post-stroke dementia) or after a series of small strokes (called multi-infarct dementia).
  • Subcortical vascular dementia. This is vascular dementia that is caused by changes to very small blood vessels in the brain (often referred to as small vessel disease).

Information on these pages aims to give an introduction to vascular dementia. We hope you will find it helpful.

This information was updated in January 2016 and is due for review in January 2018. Please contact us if you would like a version with references.

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