Neurological Signs in Relation to Type of Cerebrovascular Disease in Vascular Dementia

S. S. Staekenborg, W. M. van der Flier, E. C.W. van Straaten, R. Lane, F. Barkhof, P. Scheltens
2007 Stroke  
and Purpose-The aim of this study was to describe the prevalence of a number of neurological signs in a large population of patients with vascular dementia (VaD) and to compare the relative frequency of specific neurological signs dependent on type of cerebrovascular disease. Methods-Seven hundred six patients with VaD (NINDS-AIREN) were included from a large multicenter clinical trial (registration number NCT00099216). At baseline neurological examination, the presence of 16 neurological signs
more » ... neurological signs was assessed. Based on MRI, patients were classified as having large vessel VaD (18%; large territorial or strategical infarcts on MRI), small vessel VaD (74%; white matter hyperintensities [WMH], multiple lacunes, bilateral thalamic lesions on MRI), or a combination of both (8%). Results-A median number of 4.5 signs per patient was presented (maximum 16). Reflex asymmetry was the most prevalent symptom (49%), hemianopia was most seldom presented (10%). Measures of small vessel disease were associated with an increased prevalence of dysarthria, dysphagia, parkinsonian gait disorder, rigidity, and hypokinesia and as well to hemimotor dysfunction. By contrast, in the presence of a cerebral infarct, aphasia, hemianopia, hemimotor dysfunction, hemisensory dysfunction, reflex asymmetry, and hemiplegic gait disorder were more often observed. Conclusions-The specific neurological signs demonstrated by patients with VaD differ according to type of imaged cerebrovascular disease. Even in people who meet restrictive VaD criteria, small vessel disease is often seen with more subtle signs, including extrapyramidal signs, whereas large vessel disease is more often related to lateralized sensorimotor changes and aphasia. (Stroke. 2008;39:317-322.)
doi:10.1161/strokeaha.107.493353 pmid:18096841 fatcat:eeorg5ewarht5jznwkakwsn6ja