Vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia.
People with vascular dementia often have a series of small strokes. These are so small that they are generally not aware of them. The strokes can interrupt the blood supply to the brain, resulting in damage that causes dementia. The gaps between the strokes can be weeks, months or longer. This type of vascular dementia is called multi-infarct dementia.
About 20 per cent of people with dementia have vascular dementia. Another 20 per cent have vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease at the same time.
Like Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia often affects the person’s memory and their ability to recognise things and people. If it is caused by strokes, the person’s symptoms can get worse suddenly. Afterwards they may improve slightly or remain stable until they have another stroke.