Chronic progressive multifaceted impairment of cognitive function; a form of dementia.
Loss of brain parenchyma is predominately from cerebrovascular causes such as infarction and small-vessel changes.
The second most common cause of dementia in older people.
A large overlap exists with Alzheimer dementia and many patients have a mixed form of dementia.
Treatment is of limited benefit; early aggressive treatment of vascular risk factors is suggested.
Vascular dementia is a chronic progressive disease of the brain bringing about cognitive impairment. The executive functions of the brain such as planning are more prominently affected than memory. Motor and mood changes are often seen early. The underlying damage occurs to both gray matter and white matter from predominantly vascular causes: that is, infarction, ischemia, hemorrhage, and small-vessel changes. Alzheimer disease (AD) can be a comorbidity, with mixed dementia being common. 
Professor of Ageing and Geriatric Medicine
Queen's University Belfast
PP declares that he has no competing interests.
Dr Peter Passmore would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr David Wilson, Dr Grant Bateman, and Dr Velandai Srikanth, previous contributors to this monograph. DW has received educational grants from Shire. GB and VS declare that they have no competing interests.
Kings Harbor Multicare Center
RJG declares that he has no competing interests.
Affiliate Assistant Professor
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
University of Washington Medical Center
CNS declares that he has no competing interests.
Assistant Professor and Clinical Neuropsychologist
Department of Neurological Sciences
Rush University Medical Center
BB declares that he has no competing interests.
Use of this content is subject to our disclaimer