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Is the whole brain periventricular?
  1. F Barkhof1,
  2. P Scheltens2
  1. 1Department of Radiology, VU Medical Centre, PO Box 7057, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Neurology, VU Medical Centre, PO Box 7057, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to:
 Frederik Barkhof
 Department of Radiology, VU Medical Centre, PO Box 7057, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands; f.barkhof{at}vumc.nl

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The term periventricular is becoming meaningless and should be abandoned

The unique sensitivity of MRI to detect brain tissue alterations, especially white matter lesions (WML), has intrigued researchers ever since the introduction of this modality in the 1980s. Following early reports on the apparently meaningless nature of WML, and the naive labelling of WML as “unidentified bright objects” or UBOs,1 a wealth of studies have examined the relevance of WML in normal and pathological ageing. This has yielded strong and converging evidence regarding risk factors for WML and, to a lesser extent, the clinical significance of WML for cognitive dysfunction. Contributing to the latter are factors such as study design (cross sectional v longitudinal), selection bias (population based v case-control), type of cognitive assessment (dementia screening tools v detailed neuropsychology), and MRI methodology (choice of scan …

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