Total MRI load of cerebral small vessel disease and cognitive ability in older people

Julie Staals, Tom Booth, Zoe Morris, Mark E. Bastin, Alan J. Gow, Janie Corley, Paul Redmond, John M. Starr, Ian J. Deary, Joanna M. Wardlaw*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

155 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) may cause cognitive dysfunction. We tested the association between the combined presence of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features of SVD and cognitive ability in older age. Cognitive testing and brain MRI were performed in 680 older participants. MRI presence of lacunes, white matter hyperintensities, microbleeds, and perivascular spaces were summed in a score of 0-4 representing all SVD features combined. We also applied latent variable modeling to test whether the 4 MRI features form a unitary SVD construct. The SVD score showed significant associations with general cognitive ability. Latent variable modeling indicated that the 4 MRI markers formed a unitary construct, which showed consistent associations with cognitive ability compared with the SVD score. Total MRI load of SVD is associated with lower general cognitive ability in older age. The total SVD score performed consistently with the more complex latent variable model, suggesting validity and potential utility in future research for determining total SVD load.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2806-2811
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Volume36
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015

Keywords

  • Cognitive aging
  • MRI
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Cerebral small vessel disease
  • White matter hyperintensities
  • Cerebral microbleeds
  • Lacunes
  • Perivascular spaces

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