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Dementia & Neuropsychologia

Print version ISSN 1980-5764On-line version ISSN 1980-5764


SUDO, Felipe Kenji et al. A continuum of executive function deficits in early subcortical vascular cognitive impairment: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Dement. neuropsychol. [online]. 2017, vol.11, n.4, pp.371-380. ISSN 1980-5764.


Subcortical Vascular Cognitive Impairment (SVCI) is a clinical continuum of vascular-related cognitive impairment, including Vascular Mild Cognitive Impairment (VaMCI) and Vascular Dementia. Deficits in Executive Function (EF) are hallmarks of the disorder, but the best methods to assess this function have yet to be determined. The insidious and almost predictable course of SVCI and the multidimensional concept of EF suggest that a temporal dissociation of impairments in EF domains exists early in the disorder.


This study aims to review and analyze data from the literature about performance of VaMCI patients on the most used EF tests through a meta-analytic approach.


Medline, Web of Knowledge and PsycINFO were searched, using the terms: “vascular mild cognitive impairment” OR “vascular cognitive impairment no dementia” OR “vascular mild neurocognitive disorder” AND “dysexecutive” OR “executive function”. Meta-analyses were conducted for each of the selected tests, using random-effect models.


Systematic review showed major discrepancies among the results of the studies included. Meta-analyses evidenced poorer performance on the Trail-Making Test part B and the Stroop color test by VaMCI patients compared to controls.


A continuum of EF impairments has been proposed in SVCI. Early deficits appear to occur in cognitive flexibility and inhibitory control.

Keywords : mild cognitive impairment; cerebrovascular disorders; neuropsychology; vascular dementia; metabolic syndrome.

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