Attention deficits in Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia

Bernadette McGuinness*, Suzanne Barrett, David Craig, J. Lawson, Peter Passmore

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)



To compare the performance of patients with mild-moderate Alzheimer's disease (AD) and vascular dementia (VaD) on tests of information processing and attention.


Patients with AD (n=75) and VaD (n=46) were recruited from a memory clinic along with dementia-free participants (n=28). They underwent specific tests of attention from the Cognitive Drug Research battery, and pen and paper tests including Colour Trails A and B and Stroop. All patients had a CT brain scan that was independently scored for white-matter change/ischaemia.


Attention was impaired in both AD and VaD patients. VaD patients had more impaired choice reaction times and were less accurate on a vigilance test measuring sustained attention. Deficits in selective and divided attention occurred in both patient groups and showed the strongest correlations with Mini Mental State Examination scores.


This study demonstrates problems with the attentional network in mild-moderate AD and VaD. The authors propose that attention should be tested routinely in a memory clinic setting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-159
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010

Bibliographical note

This article has been cited 47 times. I was responsible for ethical approval, phenotyping of participants with Alzheimer's disease, carrying out neuropsychological tests, statistical analysis and writing the manuscript.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Surgery


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