A comparative analysis of Alzheimer's disease and multi-infarct cognitive disorder on neuropsychological and functional measures

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Counseling Psychology

First Committee Member

David A. Lowenstein - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Carolyn Garwood - Committee Member


The present study was an attempt to determine whether patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and Multiple Infarct Cognitive Disorder (MICD) could be differentiated on the basis of neuropsychological and functional measures. A further aim of this investigation was to determine whether any diagnostic specificity was related to disease severity. At present, there are no behavioral markers which would aid the practitioner in successfully distinguishing between the two disorders. In the present study, mild and moderately impaired patients diagnosed with AD or MICD were compared on neuropsychological and functional measures administered within the clinical setting. Results indicated that neuropsychological measures of semantic memory could differentiate mildly impaired AD from their mildly impaired MICD counterparts. Functional skills such as shopping with a written list could distinguish MICD patients from AD patients independent of level of severity. Further, functional measures were much more sensitive to disease severity than were neuropsychological indices, and neuropsychological/functional relationships were different for AD and MICD patients. The findings are discussed relative to differential diagnosis, staging dementing illness, and determination of which functional skills are compromised as patients deteriorate. In addition, directions for future research are explored.


Psychology, Psychometrics; Psychology, Physiological

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