Author(s): Borroni B, Tiberio G, Bonardelli S, Cottini E, Facheris M,
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Abstract Mild vascular cognitive impairment (mVCI) is a broader term that is intended to detect cognitive loss before the development of dementia. The identification of preventable risk factors as well as therapeutic strategies of intervention is still unclear. It has been suggested that carotid endarterectomy (CEA) improves cognitive functions, beyond the well-known preventive effect upon future stroke events. In the present study, we evaluated the beneficial effect of CEA in restoring mVCI. Among a large sample of subjects, who underwent CEA for severe carotid stenosis, two groups were identified according to the absence (CON) or the presence of cognitive impairment (mVCI). A multidimensional neuropsychological and behavioural assessment was performed in the week prior, and at a 3-month follow-up after CEA. The incidence of mVCI in this sample was 38\%. Seventy-eight patients completed the follow-up (48 CON, 30 mVCI). Both groups showed a clinical improvement after CEA, although the effect was significantly higher in the mVCI group in regard to verbal memory (short story, p < 0.05), and attention (digit span, p < 0.05) scores. At follow-up, 60\% of mVCI subjects were classified as having normal cognitive functions. Index of disease severity and peripheral arterial disease were found to be the predictors of improvement. These findings support that mVCI represents a heterogeneous, in some cases reversible condition. CEA might be considered a therapeutic option to treat and prevent cognitive decline in mVCI patients.
This article was published in Neurol Res
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