Dementia associated with lacunar infarction.
The purpose of this study was to assess the number of patients with lacunar lesions who develop dementia and to evaluate in patients with and without dementia the relevance of risk factors for cerebrovascular disease, the occurrence of leukoaraiosis, the volume and location of vascular lesions, the size of ventricular and subarachnoid spaces, and stroke recurrence.
One hundred eight patients in whom computed tomograms revealed lacunar lesions that could account for their clinical neurological pictures were followed up for an average of 4 years after their first lacunar stroke.
Twenty-five patients (23.1%) developed dementia. The prognosis regarding occurrence of dementia during the follow-up period, evaluated by the Kaplan-Meier method, was significantly worse in subjects with the greatest evidence of cerebral atrophy (p less than 0.009) and in subjects who underwent new focal cerebrovascular episodes (p less than 0.000001). No differences were seen in the frequency of vascular risk factors or the site or volume of lesions between the demented and nondemented groups.
Patients with lacunar infarcts suffer from dementia 4-12 times more frequently than the normal population. Cerebral atrophy and recurrent stroke, as well as other as-yet unclarified factors, are involved in producing dementia.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association