Date amended:
Statements of Principles
Current RMA Instruments
Reasonable Hypothesis SOP9 of 2023
Balance of Probabilities SOP10 of 2023
Changes from previous Instruments


ICD Coding

ICD-10-AM Code: F01

Brief description

Vascular neurocognitive disorder is neurocognitive impairment caused by cerebrovascular disease or impaired cerberal blood flow.  It includes vascular dementia, which is the second most common form of dementia, after Alzheimer disease.  

Confirming the diagnosis

This diagnosis is complex and other causes of dementia/neurocognitive disorder need to be evaluated.  The diagnosis requires the presence of major or mild neurocognitive disorder, the presence of cerberovascular disease (by history of stroke or other clinical features, or by neuroimaging (CT or MRI)) and a judgement that the cerberovascular disease is the cause of the cognitive impairment.  Neuropsychological testing may also be required.

The appropriate medical specialist is a neurologist.  

Additional diagnoses covered by the SOP
  • Acquired diffuse white matter disease (Binswanger's disease)
  • Multi-infarct dementia
  • Post-stroke dementia
  • Strategic infarct dementia
  • Subcortical ischaemic vascular dementia
  • Vascular dementia
  • Vascular mild neurocognitive disorder
  • Vascular major neurocognitive disorder
Conditions not covered by SOP
  • Alzheimer disease*
  • Dementia pugilistica*
  • Inherited diffuse white matter disease#
  • Lewy body disease*

* another SOP applies

# non-SOP condition

Clinical onset

Clinical onset may become evident following a stroke, with a post stroke decline in cognitive function.  There can also be progressive decline without a clinically apparent stroke.  In either case clinical onset will be based on a clinical assessment of when congitive impairment first became significant.

Clinical worsening

Progressive or stepwise decline in function and hastened mortality are the normal course for this condition, with an average survival time of around 5 years after onset.  Clinical worsening due to service is a very unlikely scenario for this condition given its typical age of onset (> 65 yrs) and the need for the condition to have manifest before the end of service for clinical worsening to be a consideration.