When researchers reviewed 81 previously published studies comparing cognitive testing for Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, they found that only two of 118 tests could accurately distinguish between the two conditions, reports the American Psychological Association. Those with Alzheimer’s disease performed better on the Emotional Recognition Task, which evaluates an individual’s ability to identify facial expressions in photographs and match emotional expressions to situations. Those with vascular dementia performed better on the Delayed Story Recall test. According to the authors, while these two tests proved to be the most reliable at distinguishing between the diseases, screeners should exercise caution and use cognitive tests only in conjunction with other information such as imaging and medical history in determining the most accurate diagnosis.
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