Hypertension Is Associated with White Matter Disruption in Apparently Healthy Middle-Aged Individuals.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:Traditional cardiovascular risk factors have been associated with white matter disease. Because hypertension results in vascular stiffness and impaired cerebral perfusion, we hypothesized that it would be the most relevant risk factor for microstructural white matter disruption in apparently healthy middle-aged individuals with a family history of early-onset coronary artery disease. MATERIALS AND METHODS:This was a cross-sectional analysis of participants in the Genetic Study of Atherosclerosis Risk with DTI. Regional fractional anisotropy of 181 segmented brain regions was measured using Eve WM Atlas. Risk factors were examined using univariate analysis for 48 regions representing deep WM structures. Minimal multivariable linear regression models adjusting for age, sex, and race and maximal linear regression models adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors were performed for regions meeting the Bonferroni threshold in the initial analysis. RESULTS:Included were 116 subjects (mean age, 49 ± 11 years; 57% men) with a moderate load of cardiovascular risk factors. Subjects with hypertension had significantly lower regional fractional anisotropy in the right cingulum and left stria terminalis in the minimal and maximal regression models. Additionally, there was lower regional fractional anisotropy in the left fornix in the maximal model and right sagittal stratum in the minimal model. Systolic blood pressure values were significantly associated with regional fractional anisotropy in the left superior longitudinal fasciculus in the maximal model. There were no significant differences among regional fractional anisotropy values for other cardiovascular risk factors. CONCLUSIONS:In middle-aged apparently healthy individuals with susceptibility to vascular disease, among all known cardiovascular risk factors, hypertension was associated with microstructural WM disruption.
Project description:Background Cardiovascular risk factors are associated with cognitive decline and dementia. Magnetic resonance imaging provides sensitive measurement of brain morphology and vascular brain injury. However, associations of risk factors with brain magnetic resonance imaging findings have largely been studied in White participants. We investigated associations of race, ethnicity, and cardiovascular risk factors with brain morphology and white matter (WM) injury in a diverse population. Methods and Results In the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, measures were made in 2018 to 2019 of total brain volume, gray matter and WM volume, and WM injury, including WM hyperintensity volume and WM fractional anisotropy. We assessed cross-sectional associations of race and ethnicity and of cardiovascular risk factors with magnetic resonance imaging measures. Magnetic resonance imaging data were complete in 1036 participants; 25% Black, 15% Chinese-American, 19% Hispanic, and 41% White. Mean (SD) age was 72 (8) years and 53% were women. Although WM injury was greater in Black than in White participants in a minimally adjusted model, additional adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors and socioeconomic status each attenuated this association, rendering it nonsignificant. Overall, greater average WM hyperintensity volume was associated with older age and current smoking (69% greater vs never smoking); lower fractional anisotropy was additionally associated with higher diastolic blood pressure, use of antihypertensive medication, and diabetes. Conclusions We found no statistically significant difference in measures of WM injury by race and ethnicity after adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors and socioeconomic status. In all racial and ethnic groups, older age, current smoking, hypertension, and diabetes were strongly associated with WM injury.
Project description:Sex differences in cerebral white matter (WM) aging have been debated extensively over the past 2 decades without unequivocal resolution. We aimed to determine if the effects of age and arterial stiffness on WM microstructure differ between sexes. Artery elasticity via carotid artery compliance (CAC) and WM diffusion metrics via diffusion tensor image-derived fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) were measured in 155 (87 females) middle-aged (40-62 years) adults. Males demonstrated poorer water diffusion metrics in WM than women in the corpus callosum body, cingulum, and cingulum (hippocampal). Age and CAC had greater effects on WM water diffusion in males than females in midlife independent of education and cardiovascular risk factors. Sex-moderated age (cingulum FA, cingulum [hippocampal] MD, and uncinate MD, all p < 0.05) and CAC (cingulum FA, p < 0.05) related reductions in regional WM diffusion metrics. CAC mediated age-related associations in regional WM diffusion metrics (cingulum FA, cingulum MD, superior corona radiata MD, and uncinate MD, all p < 0.05) in males but not in females. Age and CAC were associated with WM diffusion metrics independent of cardiovascular risk factors. These associations appear to be stronger in males than in females.
Project description:Elevated arterial pulse pressure and blood pressure (BP) can lead to atrophy of cerebral white matter (WM), potentially attributable to shared genetic factors. We calculated the magnitude of shared genetic variance between BP and fractional anisotropy of water diffusion, a sensitive measurement of WM integrity in a well-characterized population of Mexican Americans. The patterns of whole-brain and regional genetic overlap between BP and fractional anisotropy were interpreted in the context the pulse-wave encephalopathy theory. We also tested whether regional pattern in genetic pleiotropy is modulated by the phylogeny of WM development. BP and high-resolution (1.7 × 1.7 × 3 mm; 55 directions) diffusion tensor imaging data were analyzed for 332 (202 females; mean age 47.9 ± 13.3 years) members of the San Antonio Family Heart Study. Bivariate genetic correlation analysis was used to calculate the genetic overlap between several BP measurements (pulse pressure, systolic BP, and diastolic BP) and fractional anisotropy (whole-brain and regional values). Intersubject variance in pulse pressure and systolic BP exhibited a significant genetic overlap with variance in whole-brain fractional anisotropy values, sharing 36% and 22% of genetic variance, respectively. Regionally, shared genetic variance was significantly influenced by rates of WM development (r=-0.75; P=0.01). The pattern of genetic overlap between BP and WM integrity was generally in agreement with the pulse-wave encephalopathy theory. Our study provides evidence that a set of pleiotropically acting genetic factors jointly influence phenotypic variation in BP and WM integrity. The magnitude of this overlap appears to be influenced by phylogeny of WM development, suggesting a possible role for genotype-by-age interactions.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Diffusion tensor imaging measures of white matter (WM) microstructural integrity appear to provide earlier indication of WM injury than WM hyperintensities; however, risk factors for poor WM microstructural integrity have not been established. Our study quantifies the association between vascular risk factors in midlife and late life with measures of late-life WM microstructural integrity. METHODS AND RESULTS:We used data from 1851 participants in ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study) who completed 3-T magnetic resonance imaging, including diffusion tensor imaging, as part of the ARIC Neurocognitive Study (ARIC-NCS). We quantified the association among lipids, glucose, and blood pressure from the baseline ARIC visit (1987-1989, ages 44-65, midlife) and visit 5 of ARIC (2011-2013, ages 67-90, late life, concurrent with ARIC-NCS) with regional and overall WM mean diffusivity and fractional anisotropy obtained at ARIC visit 5 for ARIC participants. We also considered whether these associations were independent of or modified by WM hyperintensity volumes. We found that elevated blood pressure in midlife and late life and elevated glucose in midlife, but not late life, were associated with worse late-life WM microstructural integrity. These associations were independent of the degree of WM hyperintensity, and the association between glucose and WM microstructural integrity appeared stronger for those with the least WM hyperintensity. There was little support for an adverse association between lipids and WM microstructural integrity. CONCLUSIONS:Hypertension in both midlife and late life and elevated glucose in midlife are related to worse WM microstructural integrity in late life.
Project description:<h4>Background and purpose</h4>Cushing syndrome appears after chronic exposure to elevated glucocorticoid levels. Cortisol excess may alter white matter microstructure. Our purpose was to study WM changes in patients with Cushing syndrome compared with controls by using DTI and the influence of hypercortisolism.<h4>Materials and methods</h4>Thirty-five patients with Cushing syndrome and 35 healthy controls, matched for age, education, and sex, were analyzed through DTI (tract-based spatial statistics) for fractional anisotropy, mean diffusivity, axial diffusivity, and radial diffusivity (general linear model, family-wise error, and threshold-free cluster enhancement corrections, P < .05). Furthermore, the influence of hypercortisolism on WM DTI changes was studied by comparing 4 subgroups: 8 patients with Cushing syndrome with active hypercortisolism, 7 with Cushing syndrome with medication-remitted cortisol, 20 surgically cured, and 35 controls. Cardiovascular risk factors were used as covariates. In addition, correlations were analyzed among DTI values, concomitant 24-hour urinary free cortisol levels, and disease duration.<h4>Results</h4>There were widespread alterations (reduced fractional anisotropy, and increased mean diffusivity, axial diffusivity, and radial diffusivity values; P < .05) in patients with Cushing syndrome compared with controls, independent of the cardiovascular risk factors present. Both active and cured Cushing syndrome subgroups showed similar changes compared with controls. Patients with medically remitted Cushing syndrome also had reduced fractional anisotropy and increased mean diffusivity and radial diffusivity values, compared with controls. No correlations were found between DTI maps and 24-hour urinary free cortisol levels or with disease duration.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Diffuse WM alterations in patients with Cushing syndrome suggest underlying loss of WM integrity and demyelination. Once present, they seem to be independent of concomitant hypercortisolism, persisting after remission/cure.
Project description:There is increasing interest in factors that may modulate white matter (WM) breakdown and, consequentially, age-related cognitive and behavioral deficits. Recent diffusion tensor imaging studies have examined the relationship of such factors with WM microstructure. This review summarizes the evidence regarding the relationship between WM microstructure and recognized modifiable factors, including hearing loss, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, smoking, depressive symptoms, physical (in) activity, and social isolation, as well as sleep disturbances, diet, cognitive training, and meditation. Current cross-sectional evidence suggests a clear link between loss of WM integrity (lower fractional anisotropy and higher mean diffusivity) and hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and smoking; a relationship that seems to hold for hearing loss, social isolation, depressive symptoms, and sleep disturbances. Physical activity, cognitive training, diet, and meditation, on the other hand, may protect WM with aging. Preliminary evidence from cross-sectional studies of treated risk factors suggests that modification of factors could slow down negative effects on WM microstructure. Careful intervention studies are needed for this literature to contribute to public health initiatives going forward.
Project description:It is currently unclear whether midlife systemic inflammation promotes the development of white matter (WM) abnormalities and small vessel disease in the elderly. We examined the association of midlife systemic inflammation with late-life WM hyperintensity volume, deep and periventricular WM microstructural integrity (fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity [MD]), cerebral infarcts, and microbleeds in a biracial prospective cohort study.Linear and logistic regression examined the relation between midlife high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP)-a nonspecific marker of inflammation-and brain magnetic resonance imaging markers assessed 21 years later in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study.We included 1485 participants (baseline age, 56; 28% black). After adjusting for demographic factors and cardiovascular disease, each SD increase in midlife CRP was associated with lower fractional anisotropy (-0.09 SD; 95% confidence interval, -0.15 to -0.02) and greater MD (0.08 SD; 95% confidence interval, 0.03-0.15) in deep WM and lower fractional anisotropy (-0.07 SD; 95% confidence interval, -0.13 to 0.00) in periventricular WM. We found stronger associations between CRP and periventricular WM microstructural integrity among black participants (P interaction=0.011). Although an association between higher CRP levels and greater WM hyperintensity volume was found only among APOE ?4-positive participants in our primary analysis (0.14 SD; 95% confidence interval, 0.01-0.26; P interaction=0.028), this relationship extended to the entire sample after accounting for differential attrition. Midlife CRP was not associated with the presence of cerebral infarcts or microbleeds in late life.Our findings support the hypothesis that midlife systemic inflammation may promote the development of chronic microangiopathic structural WM abnormalities in the elderly.
Project description:<h4>Background and purpose</h4>White matter abnormalities have been demonstrated to play an important role in minimal hepatic encephalopathy. In this study, we aimed to evaluate whether WM diffusion tensor imaging can be used to identify minimal hepatic encephalopathy among patients with cirrhosis.<h4>Materials and methods</h4>Our study included 65 patients with cirrhosis with covert hepatic encephalopathy (29 with minimal hepatic encephalopathy and 36 without hepatic encephalopathy). Participants underwent DTI, from which we generated mean diffusivity and fractional anisotropy maps. We used a Bayesian machine-learning technique, called Graphical-Model-based Multivariate Analysis, to determine WM regions that characterize group differences. To further test the clinical significance of these potential biomarkers, we performed Cox regression analysis to assess the potential of these WM regions in predicting survival.<h4>Results</h4>In mean diffusivity or fractional anisotropy maps, 2 spatially distributed WM regions (predominantly located in the bilateral frontal lobes, corpus callosum, and parietal lobes) were consistently identified as differentiating minimal hepatic encephalopathy from no hepatic encephalopathy and yielded 75.4%-81.5% and 83.1%-92.3% classification accuracy, respectively. We were able to follow 55 of 65 patients (median = 18 months), and 15 of these patients eventually died of liver-related causes. Survival analysis indicated that mean diffusivity and fractional anisotropy values in WM regions were predictive of survival, in addition to the Child-Pugh score.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our findings indicate that WM DTI can provide useful biomarkers differentiating minimal hepatic encephalopathy from no hepatic encephalopathy, which would be helpful for minimal hepatic encephalopathy detection and subsequent treatment.
Project description:Hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes are increasingly prevalent with advancing age and have been shown to cause white-matter (WM) injury that may contribute to dementia risk. However, cumulative and over time effects of these medical illnesses have not been systematically examined. One hundred twenty-one cognitively normal old participants received comprehensive clinical evaluations and brain diffusion tensor imaging on 2 occasions. Clinical history and medical treatment of diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia were assessed at both evaluations. We examined whether exposure to a greater number of vascular risk factors (VRFs) was associated with greater rate of WM integrity change using longitudinal differences in fractional anisotropy (FA). Compared with individuals with no VRF, individuals with 1 VRF did not exhibit significantly different change in FA. However, those with ? 2 VRFs had greater decrease in FA within multiple WM regions including the splenium of the corpus callosum. The accumulation of VRF increasingly affected WM integrity, particularly in areas known to be injured in patients with mild cognitive impairment and dementia.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>To identify early changes in brain structure and function that are associated with cardiovascular risk factors (CVRF).<h4>Design</h4>Cross-sectional brain Magnetic Resonance I (MRI) study.<h4>Setting</h4>Community based cohort in three U.S. sites.<h4>Participants</h4>A Caucasian and African-American sub-sample (n= 680; mean age 50.3 yrs) attending the 25 year follow-up exam of the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study.<h4>Primary and secondary outcomes</h4>3T brain MR images processed for quantitative estimates of: total brain (TBV) and abnormal white matter (AWM) volume; white matter fractional anisotropy (WM-FA); and gray matter cerebral blood flow (GM-CBF). Total intracranial volume is TBV plus cerebral spinal fluid (TICV). A Global Cognitive Function (GCF) score was derived from tests of speed, memory and executive function.<h4>Results</h4>Adjusting for TICV and demographic factors, current smoking was significantly associated with lower GM-CBF and TBV, and more AWM (all <0.05); SA with lower GM-CBF, WM-FA and TBV (p=0.01); increasing BMI with decreasing GM-CBF (p<0003); hypertension with lower GM-CBF, WM-FA, and TBV and higher AWM (all <0.05); and diabetes with lower TBV (p=0.007). The GCS was lower as TBV decreased, AWM increased, and WM-FA (all p<0.01).<h4>Conclusion</h4>In middle age adults, CVRF are associated with brain health, reflected in MRI measures of structure and perfusion, and cognitive functioning. These findings suggest markers of mid-life cardiovascular and brain health should be considered as indication for early intervention and future risk of late-life cerebrovascular disease and dementia.