Validity of the clinical diagnostic criteria for vascular dementia: a critical review. Part II

J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. Spring 2008;20(2):162-77. doi: 10.1176/jnp.2008.20.2.162.


This review is the second of a two-part series focusing on the validity of eight clinical criteria for vascular dementia. Sixteen studies were selected according to their purposes and quality of experimental design. The analysis revealed that criteria for vascular dementia are not interchangeable; the eight criteria sets yielded different sensitivity and specificity results, as well as marked variability in incidence, prevalence, and frequency rates. Although the State of California Alzheimer's Disease Diagnostic and Treatment Centers (ADDTC) were the most sensitive and useful criteria in clinical settings and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke-Association Internationale pour la Recherche et l'Enseignement en Neurosciences (NINDS-AIREN) were the most specific and useful criteria in research, all criteria shared similar flaws. A definition of the cognitive syndrome, associated vascular causes or lesions, and methods of assessment should be clearly specified in the future. Suggestions for improvement are made.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dementia, Vascular / diagnosis*
  • Dementia, Vascular / epidemiology*
  • Dementia, Vascular / physiopathology
  • Dementia, Vascular / psychology
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders*
  • Humans
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales*
  • Reproducibility of Results