Vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia. It is caused by problems with the blood supply to the brain. Nerve cells require oxygen and nutrients to survive. Without them, they will become damaged or die.
Cells are provided with these oxygen and nutrients by a network of blood vessels in the brain. When the blood supply to the brain is interrupted, for example by a sudden blockage or a leak, this is called a stroke. A stroke can cause significant damage to parts of the brain.
When the parts of the brain responsible for memory, thinking or language are damaged in this way, a person will have difficulty remembering things, thinking or speaking. These are all symptoms of vascular dementia.
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The term 'dementia' is used to describe the symptoms that occur when the brain is affected by specific diseases and conditions. Symptoms of dementia include loss of memory, confusion and problems with speech and understanding.
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