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Clin Neuropsychol. 2012;26(2):224-38. doi: 10.1080/13854046.2012.658865. Epub 2012 Feb 21.

Neurobehavioral dysfunction in patients with subcortical vascular mild cognitive impairment and subcortical vascular dementia.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


Amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is considered to be a prodromal stage of Alzheimer's disease. Likewise, subcortical vascular MCI (svMCI) is considered as a prodromal stage of subcortical vascular dementia (SVaD). The objective of this study was to investigate neuropsychiatric features in patients with svMCI compared to healthy controls and patients with SVaD. We evaluated 31 patients with svMCI, 42 with SVaD, and 28 healthy controls who underwent neuropsychiatric assessments using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) and the Frontal Behavioral Inventory (FBI). On both the NPI and FBI, SVaD patients had the most severe neuropsychiatric symptoms, followed by svMCI patients and then healthy controls, suggesting that svMCI might be a prodromal stage of SVaD in terms of neuropsychiatric abnormalities. When we compared the differences of mean scores between negative and positive symptoms in FBI, negative symptoms tended to be more predominant than positive symptoms in both svMCI and SVaD patients, but the tendency was stronger in SVaD patients than in svMCI patients. These results suggest that vascular cognitive impairment with small vessel disease would start with both negative and positive neuropsychiatric symptoms and progress to present more severe negative symptoms. These behavioral ratings may be useful for early detection of vascular cognitive impairment associated with small vessel disease.

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