Several conditions can cause vascular dementia: the MayoClinic.com noted that common causes include a stroke that results in a blocked artery in the brain and chronically damaged or narrowed blood vessels in the brain. Damage to the arteries may result from conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and lupus erthematosus.
One type of vascular dementia, multi-infarct dementia, results from multiple small strokes. If one stroke causes the dementia, it is called single-infarct dementia. However, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke pointed out that not all strokes cause vascular dementia.
Other causes of vascular dementia include an infection of the heart valve (endocarditis) and a build-up of amyloid protein in the blood vessels in the brain (amyloid angiopathy). People who have had a heart attack, high blood pressure or atherosclerosis have a higher risk of developing vascular dementia.