CausesBy Mayo Clinic staff
Vascular dementia results from conditions that damage your brain's blood vessels, reducing their ability to supply your brain with the large amounts of nutrition and oxygen it needs to perform thought processes effectively.
Common conditions that may lead to vascular dementia include:
- Stroke (infarction) blocking a brain artery. Strokes that block a brain artery usually cause a range of symptoms that may include vascular dementia. But some strokes don't cause any noticeable symptoms. These "silent brain infarctions" still increase dementia risk. With both silent and apparent strokes, the risk of vascular dementia increases with the number of infarctions that occur over time. One type of vascular dementia involving many strokes is called multi-infarct dementia.
- Narrowed or chronically damaged brain blood vessels. Conditions that narrow or inflict long-term damage on your brain blood vessels can also lead to vascular dementia. These conditions include the wear and tear associated with aging; high blood pressure; hardening of the arteries; diabetes; lupus erythematosus; brain hemorrhage; and temporal arteritis.
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