Microbleeds Are Independently Related to Gait Disturbances in Elderly Individuals With Cerebral Small Vessel Disease
Background and Purpose—Cerebral small vessel disease (SVD), including white matter lesions and lacunar infarcts, is related to gait disturbances. Microbleeds (MB) are another manifestation of SVD, but their clinical impact remains unclear. We therefore investigated the relation between the number and location of MB and gait, independently of white matter lesions and lacunar infarcts.
Methods—MRI scanning was performed in 485 nondemented elderly individuals with cerebral SVD. The number and location of MB were rated. Gait was assessed with a GAITRite system and the Tinetti and Timed-Up-and-Go tests. MB were related to gait parameters by age, height, total brain volume, white matter lesions, and number of lacunar infarcts-adjusted linear regression.
Results—A higher number of MB was independently related to a shorter stride length and poorer performance on the Tinetti and Timed-Up-and-Go tests. These relations seemed to be explained by MB in the temporal and frontal lobe and basal ganglia, including the thalamus.
Conclusions—This study offers the first indication that MB may be associated with gait disturbances, independently of other coexisting markers of SVD.
- Received July 7, 2010.
- Accepted September 7, 2010.
- © 2010 American Heart Association, Inc.