Vascular dementia is caused by reduced blood flow to the brain, which damages and eventually kills the brain cells .
This can happen for a number of reasons, including:
In some people, the damage to the brain may be caused by Alzheimer's disease in addition to one of these conditions. This is known as mixed dementia.
Things that can increase your chances ofdeveloping vascular dementia in later life include:
These problems can result in damage to the blood vessels in and around the brain, or cause blood clots to develop inside them.
By making healthy lifestyle changessuch as stopping smoking and exercising regularly and treating any health conditions you have, you may be able to reduce your risk of developing vascular dementia.
Thismay also help slow down orstop the progression of vascular dementia if you are diagnosed in the early stages.
For example,small vessel diseasecanoccur asthe result ofan inherited disorder called cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL).
This is caused by a faulty gene that makes the blood vessels in the brainmore susceptible to changes.
Vascular dementia is a common form of dementia that's estimated to affect more than 135,000 people in the UK.
Early warning signs of vascular dementia can be hard to spot, but if they are identified early, treatment may help slow or halt the progression of the condition.
Vascular dementia is caused by reduced blood flow to the brain, which damages and eventually kills the brain cells.
Confirming a diagnosis of vascular dementia can be difficult, particularly when the condition is in its early stages.
There's currently no cure for vascular dementia and no way to reverse the damage to the brain that's already occurred, but treatments can help prevent further damage.