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Research paper
Association of silent lacunar infarct with brain atrophy and cognitive impairment
  1. Jamie Yu Jin Thong1,
  2. Saima Hilal2,
  3. Yanbo Wang1,
  4. Hock Wei Soon1,
  5. Yanhong Dong2,
  6. Simon Lowes Collinson3,
  7. Tuan Ta Anh1,
  8. Mohammad Kamran Ikram4,5,
  9. Tien Yin Wong4,5,
  10. Narayanaswamy Venketasubramanian6,
  11. Christopher Chen2,
  12. Anqi Qiu1,7,8
  1. 1Department of Bioengineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore
  2. 2Department of Pharmacology, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore
  3. 3Department of Psychology, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore
  4. 4Singapore Eye Research Institute, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore
  5. 5Department of Ophthalmology, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore
  6. 6Division of Neurology, University Medicine Cluster, National University Health System, Singapore
  7. 7Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Singapore, Singapore
  8. 8Clinical Imaging Research Centre, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore
  1. *Correspondence to Dr Anqi Qiu, Department of Bioengineering, National University of Singapore, 9 Engineering Drive 1, Block EA 03-12, Singapore 117576, Singapore; bieqa{at}nus.edu.sg

Abstract

Objective Silent lacunar infarct (SLI) is associated with cognitive decline and linked to an increased risk of stroke and dementia. We examined the association of SLI with MRI measures of cortical thickness, subcortical and lateral ventricular shapes and cognition in 285 ethnic Chinese elderly.

Methods SLI, cortical thickness, shapes of subcortical and ventricular structures were quantified using MRI. The cognitive performance was assessed using comprehensive neuropsychological tests. Linear regression was used to examine associations among SLI, brain measures and cognition.

Results SLI was associated with atrophy in multiple subcortical structures, ventricular enlargement and widespread cortical thinning. Both SLI and atrophy were independently related to poorer performance in attention, memory and language domains. Only SLI was associated with visuomotor speed and executive function, while atrophy mediated the association between SLI and visuoconstruction.

Conclusions Our findings support a vascular contribution to neurodegeneration and cognitive impairment.

  • Stroke
  • Neuropsychology
  • Neuroanatomy
  • MRI

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