Cognitive predictors of functional decline in vascular dementia

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Abstract

Background

This study examined changes in cognitive-functional relationships in vascular dementia (VaD) over the course of one year.

Methods

Twenty-four patients with probable VaD were administered the Dementia Rating Scale (DRS). Caregivers completed an informant-based measure of instrumental (IADL) and basic activities of daily living (BADL). Follow-up assessment was conducted one-year post-baseline.

Results

Logistic regression revealed that changes in the DRS Initiation/Perseveration and DRS Memory subscales were significantly associated with declines in IADLs and BADLs, respectively.

Conclusions

Among patients with VaD, longitudinal changes in IADLs and BADLs are most strongly associated with changes in executive functioning and memory abilities, respectively. Findings suggest that different cognitive functions subserve complex instrumental and rote, habituated basic functional activities, and neuropsychological screening measures are useful in the prediction of such functional changes.

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