BACKGROUND: Studies on neurocognitive impairment among patients presenting with multi-infarct dementia (MID) have received little attention from non-Western societies, and the Arab world is no exception. To our knowledge, this is the first study to characterize neurocognitive, affective and vegetative functioning in patients with MID in Oman.
METHODS: In this study, we recruited 20 Omani patients presenting with MID and age- and gender-matched controls at the outpatient clinic of the Department of Behavioral Medicine, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman. In addition to the collection of clinical and demographic information, various cognitive batteries were administered to the consenting participants, including those indexing nonverbal reasoning abilities, working memory (attention, concentration and recall) and executive functioning. Questionnaires that elicit the affective range and the quality of sleep were also administered.
RESULTS: Compared with the matched healthy subjects, the patients diagnosed with MID significantly differed in the presently operationalized indices of visuospatial function, semantic memory and affective and vegetative functioning. In contrast, episodic memory and some attentional capacities were not significantly different compared with the control subjects.
CONCLUSIONS: The present study was explorative and clinically designed to describe neurocognitive functioning in patients with MID seeking consultation at a tertiary care center in Oman. Our data are necessary for planning and setting up community services and health care programs for demented patients in a society where dementia is a growing silent epidemic.