Dementia prediction for people with stroke in populations: is mild cognitive impairment a useful concept?

Blossom C M Stephan, Thais Minett, Graciela Muniz Terrera, Fiona E Matthews, Carol Brayne
Age and Ageing 2015, 44 (1): 78-83

BACKGROUND: criteria for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) capture an intermediate cognitive state between normal ageing and dementia, associated with increased dementia risk. Whether criteria for MCI are applicable in the context of stroke and can be used to predict dementia in stroke cases is not known.

OBJECTIVES: to determine the prevalence of MCI in individuals with stroke and identify predictors of 2-year incident dementia in stroke cases.

METHODS: individuals were from the Medical Research Council Cognitive Function and Ageing Study. MCI prevalence in individuals with stroke was determined. Logistic regression, with receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, was used to identify variables associated with risk of dementia in stroke cases including MCI criteria, demographic, health and lifestyle variables.

FINDINGS: of 2,640 individuals seen at the first assessment, 199 reported stroke with no dementia. In individuals with stroke, criteria for MCI are not appropriate, with less than 1% of stroke cases being classified as having MCI. However, in individuals with stroke two components of the MCI definition, subjective memory complaint and cognitive function (memory and praxis scores) predicted 2-year incident dementia (area under the curve = 0.85, 95% CI: 0.77-0.94, n = 113).

CONCLUSION: criteria for MCI do not appear to capture risk of dementia in the context of stroke in the population. In stroke cases, subjective and objective cognitive performance predicts dementia and these variables could possibly be incorporated into dementia risk models for stroke cases. Identifying individuals with stroke at greatest risk of dementia has important implications for treatment and intervention.

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