Vascular dementia symptoms include short-term memory lapses, difficulty concentrating, problems balancing or walking, delusions or hallucinations, and loss of bowel or bladder control, as listed by WebMD. Other symptoms include an inability to follow directions, difficulty managing money, getting lost in familiar surroundings, and inappropriate emotional responses, such as laughing or crying at the wrong time.
Vascular dementia occurs as a result of lack of blood flow, oxygen and nutrients to the brain, as stated by WebMD. It is often tied to chronic conditions and risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and diabetes. Other risk factors include gender, age and ethnicity. High-risk groups include men, African-Americans and people between the ages of 60 and 75. Vascular dementia is the second most common cause of dementia in senior citizens, after Alzheimer's disease.
As of 2015, there is no available treatment to repair damage caused by vascular dementia, as reported by WebMD. Preventing further damage requires reducing and controlling blood pressure, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, controlling the use of medications, and following a healthy diet and exercise regime. Without these lifestyle changes, vascular dementia typically leads to death from heart disease, infection or stroke.