Impact of vascular risk factors and diseases on cognition in persons with mild cognitive impairment

Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2009;27(4):375-81. doi: 10.1159/000209965. Epub 2009 Mar 26.


Background/aim: To investigate the impact of vascular burden (assessed by the number of vascular risk factors and diseases) on the cognition of persons with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI).

Methods: This study included 145 participants; 68 meeting criteria for amnesic single-domain or multiple-domain MCI and 77 matched controls. Four cognitive domains were assessed: executive functions, processing speed, episodic memory and general cognitive functioning.

Results: A larger vascular burden among aMCI is correlated with lower performance in the executive domain. In addition, persons with aMCI with high vascular burden were more frequently of the multiple domain subtype, whereas persons with no vascular burden were more frequently of the single domain subtype.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that the combined effect of multiple vascular risk factors and diseases increases the amount of executive impairment in persons with aMCI. Vascular burden may play an important role in the heterogeneity of aMCI by impairing cognitive functions other than memory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology*
  • Color Perception / physiology
  • Cost of Illness
  • Education
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Recall / physiology
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Vascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Vascular Diseases / psychology*