Vascular dementia is almost always associated with organic brain lesions due to ischemia, not with arteriosclerossis alone. In Japan, more than 50% of dementia in population older than 65 years are of vascular origin. Vascular dementia occurs with diffuse vascular lesions in the cerebral white matter or circumscribed lesions in particular areas such as the thalamus, anterior limb of the internal capsule, and cingulate gyrus, all of which constitute the ascending activating system or the limbic system. Vascular dementia is clinically characterized by stepwise progression, fluctuating course and predominant deterioration of intelligence with relative preservation of personality. Reversibility, disproportionate impairment of intelligence and personality, and dementia caused by a focal lesion observed in vascular dementia pose problems with regard to the classical concept of dementia. The similarity and difference between remitting dementia and disturbance of consciousness remain to be scrutinized.