Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences
Tehran University of Medical Sciences
Tehran University of Medical Scienes
Due to a suggestive three-way relationship between
brain structural disorders, microvascular lesions, and cognitive impairments, we aimed to examine the association of the volume and number of white matter hyperintensity (WMH) lesions and lacunar infarcts with the cognitive impairment among the patients with cardiovascular risk factors in a sample of Iranian population.
This cross-sectional study was conducted on a total number of 156 normal subjectsaged 30 to 74 years with cardiovascular risk factors. We used the Framingham general cardiovascular risk factors prediction model to calculate the likelihood of each risk factor. All patients underwent Brain MRI. The total number of lacunar infarcts and the volume of WMH lesion were calculated. The cognition status was assessed using the Montreal cognitive assessment (MoCA) questionnaire.
Adverse association was revealed between MoCA cognition score and different cardiovascular risk profiles including Framingham BMI score (p < 0.001), Framingham lipid score (p < 0.001), Vascular Age Lipid Score (p < 0.001), and Vascular Age BMI Score (p = 0.001).The total volume of WMH was negatively associated with total MoCA cognition score (p < 0.001) as well as with some components of cognitive function including memory (p = 0.007), attention (p = 0.011), language (p = 0.027) and orientation (p = 0.003). Our study also showed an adverse association between total number of lacunar infarcts and total MoCA cognition score (p = 0.038) and consequently with some cognition components including memory (p = 0.013), attention (p = 0.037), abstraction (p = 0.046) and orientation (p = 0.002).
The total volume of WMH and number of lacunar infarcts correlate with a lowering in cognitive function in normal subjects with cardiovascular risk factors, but without cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disorders. The periventricular lesions are associated with impaired memory, language and visuo- constructional function while the subcortical lesion are associated with impairment in naming, attention, language and abstraction functions in such subjects.