Objectives: To determine whether everyday life activities are affected by general cognitive impairment or tool using disabilities in Alzheimer disease (AD) and vascular dementia (VaD).
Methods: Thirty AD the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke and the Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Association (NINCDS-ADRDA) and 30 VaD the state of California Alzheimer's Disease Diagnostic and Treatment Centers (ADDTC) patients and 10 normal controls (NC) were studied. Everyday activities in the community were assessed with the Social Activities Questionnaire (SAQ), and tool uses were evaluated with the single-tool and the multiple-tool sequence tasks.
Results: The SAQ scores of the AD and VaD groups were significantly lower than that of the NC group. For the single tool tasks, the AD and VaD groups exhibited lower scores than the NC group. The sequence score of the VaD group was lower than that of the AD group. The multiple regression analysis disclosed that the SAQ of the AD group was explained by the Mini-Mental State Examination and sequence scores. However, that of the VaD group was mainly explained by the sequence scores.
Conclusions: Disturbances in everyday life activities of AD are associated with general cognitive impairment and sequence disabilities. By contrast, those of VaD may be based only on sequence disabilities.