Development and psychometric properties of a neuropsychological battery for mild cognitive impairment with small vessel disease: The VMCI-tuscany study

Emilia Salvadori, Anna Poggesi, Giovanni Pracucci, Domenico Inzitari, Leonardo Pantoni, Rosanna Abbate, Maria Boddi, Francesca Cesari, Laura Ciolli, Mirella Coppo, Alessandra Del Bene, Stefano Diciotti, Andrea Ginestroni, Betti Giusti, Anna Maria Gori, Sandro Marini, Mario Mascalchi, Serena Nannucci, Marco Pasi, Francesca PesciniRaffaella Valenti, Ubaldo Bonuccelli, Paolo Cecchi, Alberto Chiti, Mirco Cosottini, Giovanni Orlandi, Cristina Pagni, Gabriele Siciliano, Gloria Tognoni, Antonio Federico, Nicola De Stefano, Ilaria Di Donato, Maria Teresa Dotti, Patrizia Formichi, Claudia Gambetti, Antonio Giorgio, Francesca Rossi, Laura Stromillo, Enza Zicari, Paolo Zolo, Alessandro Tiezzi, Elisabetta Bertini, Stefania Brotini, Leonello Guidi, Maria Lombardi, Stefania Mugnai, Antonella Notarelli, Laura Bracco, Massimo Cadelo, Renzo Cisbani, Luciano Gabbani, Guido Gori, Lorella Lambertucci, Luca Massacesi, Enrico Mossello, Marco Paganini, Maristella Piccininni, Francesco Pinto, Claudia Pozzi, Sandro Sorbi, Gaetano Zaccara, Tiziano Borgogni, Mario Mancuso, Roberto Marconi, Monica Mazzoni, Marco Vista, Giuseppe Meucci, Giovanna Bellini, Luciano Gabrielli, Cristina Frittelli, Renato Galli, Gianna Gambaccini, Stefano Bartolini, Carlo Biagini, Veronica Caleri, Paola Vanni, Donatella Calvani, Carla Giorgi, Stefano Magnolfi, Pasquale Palumbo, Carlo Valente, Alessandro Rossi, Rossana Tassi, Stefania Boschi, Filippo Baldacci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Objective: Vascular cognitive impairment may have a selective neuropsychological profile. We developed a battery for assessing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in patients with small vessel disease (SVD), its applicability, and psychometric properties.

Methods: Among those proposed by the 2006 NINDS-CSN Consensus Conference, we selected tests for which norms based on healthy Italians and equivalent scores methodology were available. Confirmatory factor analysis was applied to ascertain the fit of the theoretically assumed dimensions to empirical data and to derive each cognitive dimension compound measures.

Results: The entire battery was applied to 146 out of a cohort of 201 patients with MCI and SVD. Most tests showed good applicability. Fifty-five patients, who were older and cognitively more impaired, proved unable to complete the Trail Making Test part B, the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure, and the Stroop test, and were excluded from the analysis. Among the remaining patients, Mini-Mental State Examination proved largely normal, while Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure, Symbol digit modalities test, and Trail Making Test part B were most frequently abnormal. Confirmatory factor analysis showed a good fit of the 4-factor theoretical model to empirical data. Praxis domain resulted in the highest percentage of abnormal performance (65%), followed by Memory and Attention/EF domains (19% and 15%), and Language (8%).

Conclusions: Our battery proved to be comprehensive, robust, and applicable. Attention-executive dysfunction and impaired memory and visuo-constructional abilities, were the prominent features. The assessment of the Consensus Conference, that included Trial Making Test, looks poorly applicable to older and cognitively impaired patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1313-1323
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Cognitive assessment
  • confirmatory factor analysis
  • neuropsychology
  • psychometric properties
  • small vessel disease
  • subcortical ischemic vascular disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Medicine(all)

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