Structural network connectivity and cognition in cerebral small vessel disease.
ABSTRACT: Cerebral small vessel disease (SVD), including white matter hyperintensities (WMH), lacunes and microbleeds, and brain atrophy, are related to cognitive impairment. However, these magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) markers for SVD do not account for all the clinical variances observed in subjects with SVD. Here, we investigated the relation between conventional MRI markers for SVD, network efficiency and cognitive performance in 436 nondemented elderly with cerebral SVD. We computed a weighted structural connectivity network from the diffusion tensor imaging and deterministic streamlining. We found that SVD-severity (indicated by higher WMH load, number of lacunes and microbleeds, and lower total brain volume) was related to networks with lower density, connection strengths, and network efficiency, and to lower scores on cognitive performance. In multiple regressions models, network efficiency remained significantly associated with cognitive index and psychomotor speed, independent of MRI markers for SVD and mediated the associations between these markers and cognition. This study provides evidence that network (in)efficiency might drive the association between SVD and cognitive performance. This highlights the importance of network analysis in our understanding of SVD-related cognitive impairment in addition to conventional MRI markers for SVD and might provide an useful tool as disease marker.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:Serum neurofilament light (NfL)-chain is a circulating marker for neuroaxonal injury and is also associated with severity of cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) cross-sectionally. Here we explored the association of serum-NfL with imaging and cognitive measures in SVD longitudinally. METHODS:From 503 subjects with SVD, baseline and follow-up magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was available for 264 participants (follow-up 8.7±0.2 years). Baseline serum-NfL was measured by an ultrasensitive single-molecule-assay. SVD-MRI-markers including white matter hyperintensity (WMH)-volume, mean diffusivity (MD), lacunes, and microbleeds were assessed at both timepoints. Cognitive testing was performed in 336 participants, including SVD-related domains as well as global cognition and memory. Associations with NfL were assessed using linear regression analyses and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). RESULTS:Serum-NfL was associated with baseline WMH-volume, MD-values and presence of lacunes and microbleeds. SVD-related MRI- and cognitive measures showed progression during follow-up. NfL-levels were associated with future MRI-markers of SVD, including WMH, MD and lacunes. For the latter, this association was independent of baseline lacunes. Furthermore, NfL was associated with incident lacunes during follow-up (P=0.040). NfL-levels were associated with future SVD-related cognitive impairment (processing speed: ?=-0.159; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.242 to -0.068; P=0.001; executive function ?=-0.095; 95% CI, -0.170 to -0.007; P=0.033), adjusted for age, sex, education, and depression. Dementia-risk increased with higher NfL-levels (hazard ratio, 5.0; 95% CI, 2.6 to 9.4; P<0.001), however not after adjusting for age. CONCLUSIONS:Longitudinally, serum-NfL is associated with markers of SVD, especially with incident lacunes, and future cognitive impairment affecting various domains. NfL may potentially serve as an additional marker for disease monitoring and outcome in SVD, potentially capturing both vascular and neurodegenerative processes in the elderly.
Project description:Objectives: Hypertension is a major risk factor for white matter hyperintensities (WMH), lacunes, cerebral microbleeds, and perivascular spaces, which are MRI markers of cerebral small vessel disease (SVD). Studies have shown associations between these individual MRI markers and cognitive functioning and decline. Recently, a "total SVD score" was proposed in which the different MRI markers were combined into one measure of SVD, to capture total SVD-related brain damage. We investigated if this SVD score was associated with cognitive decline over 4 years in patients with hypertension. Methods: In this longitudinal cohort study, 130 hypertensive patients (91 patients with uncomplicated hypertension and 39 hypertensive patients with a lacunar stroke) were included. They underwent a neuropsychological assessment at baseline and after 4 years. The presence of WMH, lacunes, cerebral microbleeds, and perivascular spaces were rated on baseline MRI. Presence of each individual marker was added to calculate the total SVD score (range 0-4) in each patient. Results: Uncorrected linear regression analyses showed associations between SVD score and decline in overall cognition (p = 0.017), executive functioning (p < 0.001) and information processing speed (p = 0.037), but not with memory (p = 0.911). The association between SVD score and decline in overall cognition and executive function remained significant after adjustment for age, sex, education, anxiety and depression score, potential vascular risk factors, patient group, and baseline cognitive performance. Conclusion: Our study shows that a total SVD score can predict cognitive decline, specifically in executive function, over 4 years in hypertensive patients. This emphasizes the importance of considering total brain damage due to SVD.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To determine the contribution of acute infarcts, evidenced by diffusion-weighted imaging positive (DWI+) lesions, to progression of white matter hyperintensities (WMH) and other cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) markers. METHODS:We performed monthly 3T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for 10 consecutive months in 54 elderly individuals with SVD. MRI included high-resolution multishell DWI, and 3-dimensional fluid-attenuated inversion recovery, T1, and susceptibility-weighted imaging. We determined DWI+ lesion evolution, WMH progression rate (ml/mo), and number of incident lacunes and microbleeds, and calculated for each marker the proportion of progression explained by DWI+ lesions. RESULTS:We identified 39 DWI+ lesions on 21 of 472 DWI scans in 9 of 54 subjects. Of the 36 DWI+ lesions with follow-up MRI, 2 evolved into WMH, 4 evolved into a lacune (3 with cavity <3mm), 3 evolved into a microbleed, and 27 were not detectable on follow-up. WMH volume increased at a median rate of 0.027 ml/mo (interquartile range = 0.005-0.073), but was not significantly higher in subjects with DWI+ lesions compared to those without (p = 0.195). Of the 2 DWI+ lesions evolving into WMH on follow-up, one explained 23% of the total WMH volume increase in one subject, whereas the WMH regressed in the other subject. DWI+ lesions preceded 4 of 5 incident lacunes and 3 of 10 incident microbleeds. INTERPRETATION:DWI+ lesions explain only a small proportion of the total WMH progression. Hence, WMH progression seems to be mostly driven by factors other than acute infarcts. DWI+ lesions explain the majority of incident lacunes and small cavities, and almost one-third of incident microbleeds, confirming that WMH, lacunes, and microbleeds, although heterogeneous on MRI, can have a common initial appearance on MRI. ANN NEUROL 2019;86:582-592.
Project description:To determine the independent and synergistic effects of amyloid and small vessel disease (SVD) burden on longitudinal cognitive decline in patients with subcortical vascular dementia (SVaD).A longitudinal cohort study was conducted involving patients from outpatient clinics of 2 tertiary referral centers. Sixty-one patients with SVaD were prospectively recruited and underwent MRI, 11C-Pittsburgh compound B (PiB) PET at baseline, and a 3-year annual neuropsychological follow-up. Effects of PiB positivity and SVD markers (white matter hyperintensities [WMH], lacunes, and microbleeds) on longitudinal cognitive decline were evaluated using generalized estimation equation after controlling for age, sex, education, APOE4 allele, and follow-up interval.When individual neuropsychological tests were used as outcome measures, PiB positivity was associated with faster cognitive decline in attention, visuospatial, visual memory, and global cognition function. Higher WMH burden was associated with faster cognitive decline in attention, visuospatial, visual recognition memory, and semantic/phonemic fluency function, whereas lacunes and microbleeds had no significant effects. When global dementia rating (Clinical Dementia Rating sum of boxes) was considered as an outcome measure, however, only PiB positivity was associated with faster cognitive decline. Significant interactions between PiB positivity and higher SVD burden were found to affect cognitive decline in semantic word fluency (from WMH burden) and global dementia rating (from microbleed burden).In SVaD patients, amyloid burden, independently or interactively with SVD, contributed to longitudinal cognitive decline. Amyloid deposition was the strongest poor prognostic factor.
Project description:To determine whether MRI markers, including diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), can predict cognitive decline and dementia in patients with cerebral small vessel disease (SVD).In the prospective St George's Cognition and Neuroimaging in Stroke study, multimodal MRI was performed annually for 3 years and cognitive assessments annually for 5 years in a cohort of 99 patients with SVD, defined as symptomatic lacunar stroke and confluent white matter hyperintensities (WMH). Progression to dementia was determined in all patients. Progression of WMH, brain volume, lacunes, cerebral microbleeds, and a DTI measure (the normalized peak height of the mean diffusivity histogram distribution) as a marker of white matter microstructural damage were determined.Over 5 years of follow-up, 18 patients (18.2%) progressed to dementia. A significant change in all MRI markers, representing deterioration, was observed. The presence of new lacunes, and rate of increase in white matter microstructural damage on DTI, correlated with both decline in executive function and global functioning. Growth of WMH and deterioration of white matter microstructure on DTI predicted progression to dementia. A model including change in MRI variables together with their baseline values correctly classified progression to dementia with a C statistic of 0.85.This longitudinal prospective study provides evidence that change in MRI measures including DTI, over time durations during which cognitive change is not detectable, predicts cognitive decline and progression to dementia. It supports the use of MRI measures, including DTI, as useful surrogate biomarkers to monitor disease and assess therapeutic interventions.
Project description:Gait and balance impairment is highly prevalent in older people. We aimed to assess whether and how single markers of small vessel disease (SVD) or a combination thereof explain gait and balance function in the elderly. We analysed 678 community-dwelling healthy subjects from the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 at the age of 71-74 years who had undergone comprehensive risk factor assessment, gait and balance assessment as well as brain MRI. We investigated the impact of individual SVD markers (white matter hyperintensity - WMH, microbleeds, lacunes, enlarged perivascular spaces, brain atrophy) as seen on structural brain MRI and of a global SVD score on the patients' performance. A regression model revealed that age, sex, and hypertension significantly explained gait speed. Among SVD markers white matter hyperintensity (WMH) score or volume were additional significant and independent predictors of gait speed in the regression model. A similar association was seen with the global SVD score. Our study confirms a negative impact of SVD-related morphologic brain changes on gait speed in addition to age, sex and hypertension independent from brain atrophy. The presence of WMH seems to be the major driving force for SVD on gait impairment in healthy elderly subjects.
Project description:To investigate the temporal dynamics of cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) by 3 consecutive assessments over a period of 9 years, distinguishing progression from regression.Changes in SVD markers of 276 participants of the Radboud University Nijmegen Diffusion Tensor and Magnetic Resonance Imaging Cohort (RUN DMC) cohort were assessed at 3 time points over 9 years. We assessed white matter hyperintensities (WMH) volume by semiautomatic segmentation and rated lacunes and microbleeds manually. We categorized baseline WMH severity as mild, moderate, or severe according to the modified Fazekas scale. We performed mixed-effects regression analysis including a quadratic term for increasing age.Mean WMH progression over 9 years was 4.7 mL (0.54 mL/y; interquartile range 0.95-5.5 mL), 20.3% of patients had incident lacunes (2.3%/y), and 18.9% had incident microbleeds (2.2%/y). WMH volume declined in 9.4% of the participants during the first follow-up interval, but only for 1 participant (0.4%) throughout the whole follow-up. Lacunes disappeared in 3.6% and microbleeds in 5.7% of the participants. WMH progression accelerated over time: including a quadratic term for increasing age during follow-up significantly improved the model (p < 0.001). SVD progression was predominantly seen in participants with moderate to severe WMH at baseline compared to those with mild WMH (odds ratio [OR] 35.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] 15.8-80.0, p < 0.001 for WMH progression; OR 5.7, 95% CI 2.8-11.2, p < 0.001 for incident lacunes; and OR 2.9, 95% CI 1.4-5.9, p = 0.003 for incident microbleeds).SVD progression is nonlinear, accelerating over time, and a highly dynamic process, with progression interrupted by reduction in some, in a population that on average shows progression.
Project description:We aimed to explore the role of white matter hyperintensities (WMH) in progression of cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD) in an urban community in China over a period of 7 years, and to investigate associations between WMH volume (baseline and progression) and cognitive impairment. CSVD markers and neuropsychological tests at baseline and follow-up of 191 participants of the Shanghai Aging Study (SAS) were assessed. WMH volume were assessed by automatic segmentation based on U-net model. Lacunes, cerebral microbleeds (CMBs) and enlarged perivascular spaces (ePVS) were rated manually. Small vessel disease (SVD) score was rated as the total burden of CSVD markers. Global cognitive function and 5 main cognitive domains (memory, language, spatial construction, attention and executive function) were evaluated by neuropsychological tests. We performed multivariable linear regression and binominal logistic regression. Participants with higher baseline WMH volume developed more progression of WMH volume, increased risk of incident lacunes, incident CMBs, and ePVS progression. WMH (baseline and progression) were associated with decline of executive function. WMH were associated with progression of cerebral small vessel disease and decline of executive function in a Chinese urban community study over a period of 7 years.
Project description:Detecting treatment efficacy using cognitive change in trials of cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) has been challenging, making the use of surrogate markers such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) attractive. We determined the sensitivity of MRI to change in SVD and used this information to calculate sample size estimates for a clinical trial. Data from the prospective SCANS (St George’s Cognition and Neuroimaging in Stroke) study of patients with symptomatic lacunar stroke and confluent leukoaraiosis was used (n?=?121). Ninety-nine subjects returned at one or more time points. Multimodal MRI and neuropsychologic testing was performed annually over 3 years. We evaluated the change in brain volume, T2 white matter hyperintensity (WMH) volume, lacunes, and white matter damage on diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Over 3 years, change was detectable in all MRI markers but not in cognitive measures. WMH volume and DTI parameters were most sensitive to change and therefore had the smallest sample size estimates. MRI markers, particularly WMH volume and DTI parameters, are more sensitive to SVD progression over short time periods than cognition. These markers could significantly reduce the size of trials to screen treatments for efficacy in SVD, although further validation from longitudinal and intervention studies is required.
Project description:To evaluate whether the burden of deep and lobar lacunes differs between patients with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) with definite/probable cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) per the Boston criteria and hypertensive small vessel disease (HTN-SVD; ICH in basal ganglia, thalami, brainstem).We defined lobar and deep lacunes similar to the topographic distribution used for ICH and cerebral microbleeds (CMBs). We then compared their distribution between patients with CAA-ICH and those with strictly deep CMB and ICH (HTN-ICH). The independent associations of lacune location with the diagnosis of CAA-ICH and HTN-ICH were evaluated with multivariable models. The relationship between lobar lacunes and white matter hyperintensity (WMH) volume was evaluated by means of partial correlation analyses adjusted for age and a validated visual scale.In our final cohort of 316 patients with ICH, lacunes were frequent (24.7%), with similar rates in 191 patients with CAA and 125 with HTN-ICH (23% vs 27.2%, p = 0.4). Lobar lacunes were more commonly present in CAA (20.4% vs 5.7%, p < 0.001), while deep lacunes were more frequent in HTN-ICH (15.2% vs 2.1%, p < 0.001). After correction for demographics and clinical and neuroimaging markers of SVD, lobar lacunes were associated with CAA (p = 0.003) and deep lacunes with HTN-ICH (p < 0.001). Lobar lacunes in 80% of the cases were at least in contact with WMH, and after adjustment for age, they were highly correlated to WMH volume (r = 0.42, p < 0.001).Lobar lacunes are associated with CAA, whereas deep lacunes are more frequent in HTN-SVD. Lobar lacunes seem to have a close relationship with WMH, suggesting a possible common origin.