University of Bristol
Assessment of neuropathological changes associated with vascular dementia: validation of a consensus approach
Alzheimer's Research UK
The over-arching term vascular cognitive impairment (VCI) refers to a group of conditions in which cognitive problems result from inadequate blood flow through the brain. Vascular dementia (VaD) is a severe form of VCI and is the second most common cause of dementia after Alzheimers disease (AD). Establishing a definite diagnosis of most diseases that cause dementia depends on post-mortem neuropathological examination. However, in contrast to other types of dementia, such as AD, there are no widely accepted criteria for the post-mortem assessment and diagnosis of VCI or VaD.
Over the past 10 months, within the Brains for Dementia Research (BDR) network, the applicants have used the Delphi method to develop a set of Vascular Cognitive Impairment Neuropathology Guidelines (VCING), representing a consensus approach to the post-mortem assessment of cerebral vascular disease in relation to VCI. We now wish to validate and refine these guidelines. Our aim is to (i) evaluate the practicability and reproducibility of the VCING protocol across multiple UK centres, and (ii) by assessing the relationship between cognitive performance and the VCING standardised scores of vascular pathology, to establish objective neuropathological criteria for commenting on the possible or likely contribution of cerebral vascular disease to cognitive impairment.