Defining the diagnosis of vascular dementia

Kelly Davis Garrett, Robert H. Paul, David J. Libon, Ron A. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Vascular dementia (VaD) is a heterogeneous term that has evolved to describe the behavioral syndromes associated with a variety of clinical and neuropathologic changes. As such, the VaD literature lacks a clear consensus regarding the neuropsychological and other constituent characteristics associated with various cerebrovascular changes. We address the issues articulated by Paul and colleagues (Paul, Garrett, & Cohen, 2003), by offering four recommendations to refine the clinical assessment and diagnostic decision-making process of individuals with suspected cerebrovascular changes: (a) Describing the nature of vascular changes may facilitate predictions regarding the neuropsychological profile of subtypes of VaD; (b) employ a process approach to assessment, measuring cognitive constructs in addition to test scores to describe the neuropsychological profiles of types of VaD; (c) integrate direct MRI observations of the brain and other collateral data in the diagnostic process; and (d) consider using "vascular cognitive impairment, no dementia" for suspected prodromal VaD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-207
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Neuropsychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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