Small vessel disease (SVD) causes lacunar stroke. It is also the most common cause of vascular cognitive decline (VCI) and dementia.
VCI in this patient group is frequently overlooked, but has been shown to have a major impact on quality of life. Patients most commonly present with impairments of processing speed and executive function. This is not well detected by the commonly used cognitive screening tools such as the MMSE.
This is why we developed the B-MET. We looked at which tests best identified this deficit. We put these together, with other tests helping distinguish VCI due to small vessel disease from cortical dementias such as Alzheimer’s, into the B-MET.
Initially we showed that the B-MET was more effective than the MMSE at detecting VCI in this patient group and differentiating them from Alzheimer’s.
In a larger study in 200 patients with SVD from stroke centres throughout the UK we confirmed its sensitivity. We also recruited 500 community controls to obtain normative data
We are currently testing it in other patient groups, including frontal and other dementias.
We have made the MMSE freely available so please do use it for both clinical and research studies. We would encourage other groups to evaluate it. If you do, please reference the original publication.
The development of the BMET has been funded by research grants from the Stroke Association.