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Vascular dementia 

People with a history of heart diseases are twice as likely to be affected by vascular dementia. That's why our research starts with your heart, but doesn't stop there. 

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What is vascular dementia and what causes it?

Vascular dementia happens when there's a problem with the blood supply to part of your brain, which can happen after a stroke. It means the cells in the affected area of your brain don’t get enough oxygen or nutrients and start to die. This then can then lead to upsetting symptoms, such as memory problems, concentration problems and personality changes. People with a history of heart disease are twice as likely to develop vascular dementia.

At the moment, there is no specific treatment for vascular dementia. But if we can learn as much about vascular dementia as we have about heart diseases, we may be able to prevent it or slow its progress.

What's it like to live with vascular dementia?

When he was 49, Wayne had a heart attack. Ten years later, he was diagnosed with mixed vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Two years after that, Wayne suffered a stroke. Here's his story.


Wayne’s story speaks volumes about why we fund research studying more than just hearts. Heart and circulatory diseases are often connected. They can have the same risk factors and one can lead to another. That’s why our research starts with your heart, but doesn’t stop there.

Our research into vascular dementia

Professor Joanna Wardlaw is leading a project focused on vascular dementia, funded by the BHF, in partnership with the Stroke Association and Alzheimer’s Society. She and her team want to find ways to identify people who are most at risk of developing vascular dementia after having a stroke.

To do this, they are recruiting people who have had a stroke, and are collecting a wide range of information about them. They are testing their thinking skills, performing brain scans and looking for markers in their blood or genes.  Because if we are able to detect people at risk of vascular dementia early, we can take action and provide advice and management strategies.  Participants in the study will also be able to join clinical trials as new treatments become ready for testing.


From heart diseases and stroke to vascular dementia, we raise money to fund research into all heart and circulatory diseases and their risk factors. Every breakthrough we’ve made has been funded by people like you. So please donate today. It could help save someone you love in the future.

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