Electroencephalogram (EEG) activity, recorded while performing an "odd ball" detection task, was compared between patients with early vascular dementia (VD), healthy young controls and healthy elderly controls performing the same task. The data were analyzed using the event-related synchronization/desynchronization (ERS/ERD) method. VD patients, compared with controls, showed decreased ERS effects in the delta frequency band (0.5-3.5Hz) of EEG after the target stimulus appeared in frontal, central and parietal regions. Similarly, elderly controls also showed a decreased ERS compared with young controls only in central and parietal regions. As part of this analysis, we introduce a novel quantitative index, the Event-related Energy Change Progression (EECP), which provides a reliable measure that distinguishes these groups and thereby provides a promising marker for early diagnosis of VD.