Frontal white matter lesions and dementia in lacunar infarction.
We studied the associations of mental deterioration and blood pressure with severity and location of lesions in the cerebral white matter of 35 patients (27 men and eight women) aged 52-84 (mean 70.9) years with multiple lacunar infarcts; 21 had no dementia and 14 were demented. Using magnetic resonance imaging to evaluate lesion severity, we determined that demented patients had more severe lesions than nondemented patients; this difference was especially prominent for lesions in the frontal lobe (p less than 0.001). Score on the dementia rating scale of Hasegawa et al was negatively correlated with severity of the lesions in the frontal lobe. Blood pressure was positively correlated with the severity of white matter lesions. We show that severity of lesions in the white matter, especially in the frontal lobe, is correlated with mental deterioration of patients with multiple lacunar infarcts. Because uncontrolled hypertension is related to the severity of such lesions, careful selection of antihypertensive treatment is important in preventing both the cerebral lesions and the associated mental deterioration.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association