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Acta Neurol Scand. 1995 Dec;92(6):433-42.

Patterns of neuropsychological impairment in mild dementia: a comparison between Alzheimer's disease and multi-infarct dementia.

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II Clinica Neurologica, Università Studi di Brescia, Italy.


The objective was to investigate the clinical and psychometric differences between patients with dementia of Alzheimer type (DAT) and patients with multi-infarct dementia (MID), matched for age, sex, education, and severity. Sixteen patients with DAT, 16 patients with MID, and 30 healthy individuals, were drawn from a longitudinal study on aging and dementia. Subjects with medical or previous mental disorders were excluded. DAT and controls with focal brain abnormalities on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were excluded. Diagnosis of dementia was carried out according to DSM-III-R criteria. Dementia severity was staged using the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) scale, and only patients with a score of 0.5-1 on CDR were studied. The main outcome measures were quantitative clinical scales of the assessment of global mental status, depression and anxiety, as well as a wide battery of neuropsychological tests for the evaluation of executive/conceptual functions and memory, as well as attention verbal ability, and visuospatial skill functions. The performance of demented patients compared to normal controls was affected on all measurements except for depression and anxiety. DAT patients showed compared to MID patients a greater extent of impairment on tasks assessing verbal comprehension and memory while MID patients were more significantly impaired on measures of frontal lobe functioning. Clinically matched DAT and MID patients show a differential pattern of neuropsychological impairment when studied in an early stage of dementia and with a mild degree of severity. Such patterns might be of value for the development of clinical diagnostic criteria.

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