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Diagnostic Criteria for Vascular Cognitive Disorders: A VASCOG Statement

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Raj KalariaORCiD


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Background: Several sets of diagnostic criteria have been published for vascular dementia since the 1960s. The continuing ambiguity in vascular dementia definition warrants a critical reexamination.Methods: Participants at a special symposium of the International Society for Vascular Behavioral and Cognitive Disorders (VASCOG) in 2009 critiqued the current criteria. They drafted a proposal for a new set of criteria, later reviewed through multiple drafts by the group, including additional experts and the members of the Neurocognitive Disorders Work Group of the fifth revision of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) Task Force.Results: Cognitive disorders of vascular etiology are a heterogeneous group of disorders with diverse pathologies and clinical manifestations, discussed broadly under the rubric of vascular cognitive disorders (VCD). The continuum of vascular cognitive impairment is recognized by the categories of Mild Vascular Cognitive Disorder, and Vascular Dementia or Major Vascular Cognitive Disorder. Diagnostic thresholds are defined. Clinical and neuroimaging criteria are proposed for establishing vascular etiology. Subtypes of VCD are described, and the frequent cooccurrence of Alzheimer disease pathology emphasized.Conclusions: The proposed criteria for VCD provide a coherent approach to the diagnosis of this diverse group of disorders, with a view to stimulating clinical and pathologic validation studies. These criteria can be harmonized with the DSM-5 criteria such that an international consensus on the criteria for VCD may be achieved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Sachdev P, Kalaria R, O'Brien J, Skoog I, Alladi S, Black SE, Blacker D, Blazer DG, Chen C, Chui H, Ganguli M, Jellinger K, Jeste DV, Pasquier F, Paulsen J, Prins N, Rockwood K, Roman G, Scheltens P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders

Year: 2014

Volume: 28

Issue: 3

Pages: 206-218

Print publication date: 01/07/2014

ISSN (print): 0893-0341

ISSN (electronic): 1546-4156

Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins


DOI: 10.1097/WAD.0000000000000034


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Funder referenceFunder name
Alzheimer Society of Canada
Alzheimer's Research UK
Alzhiemer's Drug discovery Foundation
Bristol-Myers Squibb
Dunhill Medical Trust, UK
Medical Research Council
Ministere de l'Enseignement Superieur et de la Recherche
Sunnybrook Research Institute
University of Toronto
VUmc Fonds
Alzheimer Center VUmc
Alzheimer's Association
anonymous foundation
Brain Canada
Brill Chair in Neurology, Department of Medicine, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Canada Foundation for Innovation
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Canadian Stroke Network
Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation
Direction Generale de l'Offre de Soins (Ministry of Health)
Eli Lilly
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma, Japan
National Institutes of Health
10_67Alzheimer Society of Canada
162National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia
200711DIPCanadian Institutes of Health Research: the Canadian Dementia Knowledge Translation Network
401National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia
568940National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia
568969National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia
CCI92216National Natural Science Foundation of China: The Canada China Joint Health Research Initiative, Quantification of health status changes in China and in Canada
DP120102078Australian Research Council
H07.03Brain Foundation of the Netherlands
NRF-CRP 3-2008-01National Research Foundation
MED2006-2086Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation
MOP-209888Canadian Institutes of Health Research
NMRC/1288/2011National Medical Research Council
NMRC/xxxx/2011National Medical Research Council
WE.03-2012-02Alzheimer Nederland