Distinguishing between vascular dementia and alzheimer's disease by means of the WAIS: a meta-analysis.

J.M. Oosterman, E.J.A. Scherder

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This study was intended to, meta-analytically, review whether the subtests of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale are useful in differentiating between vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease. We expected the Alzheimer's disease group to outperform the vascular dementia group on those subtests that require executive functions, whereas inferior performance of the Alzheimer's disease patients was expected on memory tests. Two steps in the analysis were undertaken in an attempt to clarify this issue. The first step consisted of including all studies examining Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale subtest performance in vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease patients. Secondly, a subcortical vascular dementia subgroup was distinguished and performance of this subgroup was compared to that of the Alzheimer's disease group. Overall, the analyses showed that both the vascular dementia and, more strongly, the subcortical vascular dementia group revealed decreased executive functions on several subtests compared to the Alzheimer's disease group. The Alzheimer's disease group showed inferior performance on a single semantic memory test only compared to both the vascular dementia and the subcortical vascular dementia groups. These results indicate that several subtests of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale can differentiate between these two clinical groups, and that most of these tests reveal more impaired performance in the vascular dementia group. Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1158-1175
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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