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Multiple Cognitive Impairment Predicts Vascular Dementia

Mild cognitive impairment with multiple impaired cognitive domains may be a prodromal form of vascular dementia

THURSDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- Mild cognitive impairment with multiple impaired cognitive domains (mcd-MCI) may be an early stage of subcortical vascular dementia (VaD), according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Mariella Zanetti, M.D., of the University of Milan in Milan, Italy, and colleagues assessed 400 community-dwelling patients who took part in a comprehensive geriatric assessment program. They evaluated the subjects for memory impairment and other cognitive disorders.

There were 65 subjects with MCI who were kept under observation for three years, including comprehensive neuropsychological tests, brain scans and cardiovascular assessment. There were 31 subjects classified with amnesiac MCI (a-MCI) and 34 with mcd-MCI. Those with mcd-MCI had significantly higher rates of vascular comorbidity, signs of vascular disease, mood disorders and behavioral symptoms compared with subjects with a-MCI.

Within three years, 20 (31 percent) of the 65 subjects with MCI developed dementia, 11 with Alzheimer's disease, all of whom had been diagnosed with a-MCI at baseline. Nine subjects went on to develop VaD, all of whom had been diagnosed with mcd-MCI at baseline.

"Early identification of these patients offers an important opportunity for public health gains against VaD through clinical intervention, such as control of vascular risk factors," the authors concluded.

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