Association of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Markers of Cerebrovascular Disease Burden and Cognition
Background and Purpose—The present study sought to examine the association between the burden of cerebrovascular disease (CeVD) as assessed by multimodal magnetic resonance imaging and neurocognitive function.
Methods—Cognitively impaired patients and controls were tested on an extensive neuropsychological battery and underwent multimodal brain magnetic resonance imaging. CeVD markers determined from magnetic resonance imaging included the presence of multiple lacunes, multiple cerebral microbleeds, and moderate or severe white matter hyperintensities as markers for small-vessel disease and cortical stroke and intracranial stenosis as markers for large-vessel disease. A weighted CeVD burden score was constructed, and its association with global and domain-specific cognitive performance was investigated.
Results—A total of 305 cases and 94 controls were included in the analysis. A graded association of CeVD burden with neurocognitive function was found. Moreover, a clear threshold of CeVD burden was associated with severe impairment. White matter hyperintensities was associated with global neurocognitive deficits, whereas microbleeds were associated with domain-specific impairments.
Conclusions—The weighted CeVD burden score comprising markers of both small- and large-vessel diseases were associated with deficits in both global and domain-specific neurocognitive function. Additional studies are needed to validate the use of this CeVD burden score for the prediction of dementia.
- Received July 8, 2015.
- Revision received July 23, 2015.
- Accepted July 27, 2015.
- © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.