Abstract T P412: Cerebral Microbleeds and Cognition: The Framingham Heart Study
Objective: To study the association of cerebral microbleeds (CMB) on MRI and performance on a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery in a community based cohort free of stroke and dementia.
Background: CMB represent hemorrhage-prone cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) and have been related to increased risk of dementia. In non-demented individuals, CMB may negatively affect cognition and the pattern of impaired cognitive performance may differ according to lesion topography.
Methods: We evaluated 1744 Framingham Offspring Study participants (mean age 64.6 years, 54% women) attending a baseline examination (1998-2008), who had brain MRI allowing for CMB detection and underwent concurrent NP testing. Using multivariable linear regression we related CMB presence overall and stratified by brain location (lobar, deep or mixed) to performance on NP tests representing cognitive domains including memory, executive function, abstraction, language and visuospatial function.
Results: CMB were observed in 7.7% of subjects (66% lobar, 20% deep, 14% mixed). After adjustment for sex, age, level of education and MRI markers of ischemic small vessel disease, presence of any CMB was associated with impaired performance on tests of abstraction (β -0.71, p=0.02) and language (β -0.13, p=0.04). The associations were attenuated after adjustment for vascular risk factors (hypertension, diabetes, smoking, prevalent cardiovascular disease). Lobar CMB showed similar marginal associations (p=0.05), also attenuated after adjustment for vascular risk factors. Mixed location CMB were associated with tests of executive function, an association that remained significant after adjustment for MRI markers of ischemic SVD and vascular risk factors (β-0.12, p= 0.02). CMB in only deep location did not show any significant association with NP test performance.
Conclusions: CMB were associated with lower cognitive performance in a community-based sample of middle-aged adults. Our findings are limited given the cross sectional study design and small sample in subgroups of deep and mixed CMB, but concur with studies suggesting a negative impact of CMB on cognition, and expand prior studies by showing that the relations are independent of ischemic cerebral SVD.
- Cerebral amyloid angiopathy
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Vascular cognitive impairment
- Vascular disease
Author Disclosures: J.R. Romero: None. S.R. Preis: None. A. Beiser: None. A. Shoamanesh: None. R. Au: None. C. DeCarli: None. P.A. Wolf: None. S. Seshadri: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.