What Is Vascular Dementia and What Causes It?

Q:
What is vascular dementia and what causes it?

A:
Vascular dementia is a general term describing problems with reasoning, planning, judgment, memory and other thought processes caused by brain damage from impaired blood flow to your brain.

Possible causes for vascular dementia include:

  • Stroke blocking a brain artery. Strokes that block a brain artery usually cause a range of symptoms that may include vascular dementia. Some strokes don’t cause any noticeable symptoms, but these silent strokes still increase dementia risk.
  • Narrowed or chronically damaged brain blood vessels. Conditions that narrow or inflict long-term damage on your brain blood vessels also can lead to vascular dementia. These conditions include the wear and tear associated with aging, high blood pressure, abnormal aging of blood vessels, diabetes, and brain hemorrhage.