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 . 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
C. Jonker, M. I. Geerlings, and B. Schmand, “Are memory complaints predictive for dementia? A review of clinical and population-based studies,” International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, vol. 15, pp. 983–991, 2000.
M. Mol, M. Carpay, I. Ramakers, N. Rozendaal, F. Verhey, and J. Jolles, “The effect of percieved forgetfulness on quality of life in older adults; a qualitative review,” International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, vol. 22, no. 5, pp. 393–400, 2007.
R. E. Amariglio, M. K. Townsend, F. Grodstein, R. A. Sperling, and D. M. Rentz, “Specific subjective memory complaints in older persons may indicate poor cognitive function,” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, vol. 59, no. 9, pp. 1612–1617, 2011.
C. Derouesné, A. Alperovitch, N. Arvay et al., “Memory complaints in the elderly: a study of 367 community-dwelling individuals from 50 to 80 years old,” Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, vol. 1, pp. 151–163, 1989.
C. Fischer, T. A. Schweizer, J. H. Atkins et al., “Neurocognitive profiles in older adults with and without major depression,” International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, vol. 23, no. 8, pp. 851–856, 2008.
P. Montejo, M. Montenegro, M. A. Fernández, and F. Maestú, “Memory complaints in the elderly: quality of life and daily living activities. A population based study,” Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, vol. 54, no. 2, pp. 298–304, 2012.
M. Lamar, T. M. Dannhauser, Z. Walker, J. E. Rodda, D. J. Cutinha, and S. S. Shergill, “Memory complaints with and without memory impairment: the impact of leukoaraiosis on cognition,” Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, vol. 17, no. 6, pp. 1104–1112, 2011.
S. Spear Bassett and M. F. Folstein, “Memory complaint, memory performance, and psychiatric diagnosis: a community study,” Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 105–111, 1993.
M. Gagnon, J. F. Dartigues, J. M. Mazaux et al., “Self-reported memory complaints and memory performance in elderly French community residents: results of the PAQUID research program,” Neuroepidemiology, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 145–154, 1994.
R. Tobiansky, R. Blizard, G. Livingston, and A. Mann, “The gospel oak study stage IV: the clinical relevance of subjective memory impairment in older people,” Psychological Medicine, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 779–786, 1995.
D. G. Blazer, J. C. Hays, G. G. Fillenbaum, and D. T. Gold, “Memory complaint as a predictor of cognitive decline: a comparison of African American and white elders,” Journal of Aging and Health, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 171–184, 1997.
C. J. A. M. Commissaris, R. W. H. M. Ponds, and J. Jolles, “Subjective forgetfulness in a normal Dutch population: possibilities for health education and other interventions,” Patient Education and Counseling, vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 25–32, 1998.
A. F. Jorm, P. Butterworth, K. J. Anstey et al., “Memory complaints in a community sample aged 60–64 years: associations with cognitive functioning, psychiatric symptoms, medical conditions, APOE genotype, hippocampus and amygdala volumes, and white-matter hyperintensities,” Psychological Medicine, vol. 34, no. 8, pp. 1495–1506, 2004.
R. Stewart, O. Godin, F. Crivello et al., “Longitudinal neuroimaging correlates of subjective memory impairment: 4-year prospective community study,” British Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 198, no. 3, pp. 199–205, 2011.
M. Bartley, A. L. Bokde, M. Ewers et al., “Subjective memory complaints in community dwelling healthy older people: the influence of brain and psychopathology,” International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, vol. 27, pp. 836–843, 2011.
M. S. Albert, S. T. DeKosky, D. Dickson et al., “The diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer's disease: recommendations from the National Institute on Aging-Alzheimer's Association workgroups on diagnostic guidelines for Alzheimer's disease,” Alzheimer's and Dementia, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 270–279, 2011.
P. B. Gorelick, A. Scuteri, S. E. Black et al., “Vascular contributions to cognitive impairment and dementia: a statement for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association,” Stroke, vol. 42, no. 9, pp. 2672–2713, 2011.
M. F. Folstein, S. E. Folstein, and P. R. McHugh, “Mini-mental state: a practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician,” Journal of Psychiatric Research, vol. 12, pp. 189–198, 1975.
T. D. Vannorsdall, S. R. Waldstein, M. Kraut, G. D. Pearlson, and D. J. Schretlen, “White matter abnormalities and cognition in a community sample,” Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 209–217, 2009.
J. J. Soriano-Raya, J. Miralbell, E. Lopez-Cancio, et al., “Deep versus periventricular white matter lesions and cognitive function in a community sample of middle-aged participants,” Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, vol. 18, pp. 874–885, 2012.
N. D. Prins, E. J. Van Dijk, T. Den Heijer et al., “Cerebral small-vessel disease and decline in information processing speed, executive function and memory,” Brain, vol. 128, no. 9, pp. 2034–2041, 2005.
M. Duering, N. Zieren, D. Hervé et al., “Strategic role of frontal white matter tracts in vascular cognitive impairment: a voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping study in CADASIL,” Brain, vol. 134, no. 8, pp. 2366–2375, 2011.