What are the symptoms of vascular dementia?

Vascular dementia, like Alzheimer's disease, affects memory and the ability to complete basic tasks. But other factors, such as personality and judgment are not affected as much.

Vascular dementia also has a few non-cognitive symptoms, such as loss of bladder or bowel control and paralysis or weakness on one side of the body.



The symptoms of vascular dementia can vary, depending on which areas of the brain are most affected by the disease. They may include several of the following:

  • Thinking problems
  • Confusion
  • Poor reasoning and planning skills
  • Difficulty with decision-making
  • Memory problems
  • Poor concentration
  • Difficulty with word-finding
  • Difficulty in social situations
  • Uncontrollable laughing or crying
  • Restlessness or agitation
  • Difficulty walking
  • Urinary urgency or incontinence
Dr. Stephen T. Chen, MD
Geriatric Medicine Specialist

Symptoms of vascular dementia often include sudden problems with memory. The person may seem fine, but then has an abrupt change in the ability to remember or think.

Further decline may occur as the person experiences small or large vascular events, including strokes. Additional symptoms of vascular dementia may include:

  • walking difficulty
  • problems with fine motor coordination
  • loss of bladder or bowel control (incontinence)
  • mood swings (laughing or crying for no apparent reason)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.