Vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia, affecting around 150,000 people in the UK.
Symptoms of vascular dementia occur when the brain is damaged because of problems with the supply of blood to the brain due to diseased blood vessels. To be healthy and function properly, brain cells need a constant supply of blood to bring oxygen and nutrients. Blood is delivered to the brain through a network of vessels called the vascular system. If the vascular system within the brain becomes damaged – so that the blood vessels leak or become blocked – then blood cannot reach the brain cells and they will eventually die.
This death of brain cells can cause problems with memory, thinking or reasoning. Together these three elements are known as cognition. Vascular dementia occurs when these cognitive problems are bad enough to have a significant impact on daily life.