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.
You can develop vascular dementia after a stroke blocks an artery in your brain, but strokes don't always cause vascular dementia. Whether a stroke affects your thinking and reasoning depends on your stroke's severity and location. Vascular dementia also can result from other conditions that damage blood vessels and reduce circulation, depriving your brain of vital oxygen and nutrients.
Factors that increase your risk of heart disease and stroke — including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking — also raise your vascular dementia risk. Controlling these factors can help lower your chances of developing vascular dementia.
May. 02, 2014
- Korczyn AD, et al. Vascular dementia. Journal of the Neurological Sciences. 2012;322:2.
- Mohr JP, et al. Stroke Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Management. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier. 2011. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 2, 2014.
- Dementia: Hope through research. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/dementias/detail_dementia.htm. Accessed Feb. 2, 2014.
- Daroff RB, et al. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 2, 2014.
- Wright CB. Etiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis of vascular dementia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 2, 2014.
- Goldman L, et al. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 2, 2014.
- Wright CB. Treatment and prevention of vascular dementia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 2, 2014.
- Medications for memory loss. Alzheimer's Association. http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_standard_prescriptions.asp. Accessed Feb. 4, 2014.
- Caring for a person with Alzheimer's disease. National Institute on Aging. http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/caring-person-alzheimers-disease. Accessed Feb. 4, 2014.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.