Vascular dementia represents the second most common type of dementia after that caused by Alzheimer's disease. Particularly in older patients, the combination of vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease is common and is referred to as mixed dementia. The classification of vascular dementia broadly follows three clinico-pathological processes: multi-infarct dementia, single strategic infarct dementia and subcortical dementia. Not all patients fulfil strict criteria for dementia and may be significantly cognitively impaired without memory loss and the term vascular cognitive impairment is more useful. Currently, no established standard treatment for vascular cognitive impairment exists. Reductions in acetylcholine and acetyltransferase activity are common to both Alzheimer's disease and vascular cognitive impairment raising the possibility that cholinesterase inhibitors such as galantamine may be beneficial for the latter.