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Profile of Cognitive Complaints in Vascular Mild Cognitive Impairment and Mild Cognitive Impairment

DOI: 10.1155/2013/865827

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Objective. Vascular mild cognitive impairment (VaMCI) is differentiated from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) by the presence of vascular events such as stroke or small vessel disease. Typically, MCI and VaMCI patients present with subjective complaints regarding cognition; however, little is known about the specific nature of these complaints. We aimed to create a profile of subjective cognitive complaints in MCI and VaMCI patients with similar levels of objective cognitive performance. Methods. Twenty MCI and twenty VaMCI patients were recruited from a Memory Disorders Clinic in Toronto. Subjective cognitive complaints were assessed and categorized using the Neuropsychological Impairment Scale. Results. MCI and VaMCI patients achieved similar scores on measures of objective cognitive function ( ). However, the VaMCI group had more subjective complaints than the MCI group ( ), particularly in the critical items, cognitive efficiency, memory, and verbal learning domains of the Neuropsychological Impairment Scale. Conclusions. Our findings support the idea that VaMCI and MCI differ in their clinical profiles, independent of neuroimaging. VaMCI patients have significantly more subjective cognitive complaints and may be exhibiting particular deficits in memory, verbal learning, and cognitive efficiency. Our findings promote the need for further research into VaMCI-specific cognitive deficits. 1. Introduction As adults age, it is common for cognitive problems to arise. Subjective cognitive complaints (SCC) are quite prevalent among older adults, with some estimates suggesting that between 25% and 50% of all older adults have self-perceived memory impairment [1, 2]. In clinical practice, it is often difficult to assess the veracity and severity of subjective cognitive complaints, primarily because such complaints vary widely from individual to individual. As a result, clinicians and caregivers perhaps do not consider subjective complaints to have the same weight as objective findings. However, studies have shown that subjective complaints may be valid indicators of current and future cognitive impairment. A recent study by Amariglio and colleagues showed that certain subjective complaints, such as “I have trouble finding my way around familiar streets,” are correlated with impairment in delayed recall, naming, and semantic fluency [3]. A review conducted by Jonker and colleagues showed that memory complaints may be predictive of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease onset within two to four years, especially in individuals with a diagnosis of mild cognitive


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