White matter hyperintensities characterised in dementia

Subjects ” Alzheimer’s disease and dementia

HealthDay News – According to a February 17 study published online, the volumes of white matter hyperintensities (WMH) in behavioral frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) are larger than in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and larger volumes are related to disease severity at bvFTD connected in neurology.

Katherine Huynh of the University of Sydney in Australia and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study of the brain with volumetric and voxel-by-voxel analyzes. A total of 129 patients (64 with bvFTD and 65 with AD) and 66 controls underwent a high-resolution MRI as well as a clinical and neuropsychological examination. Genetic screening was performed in 124 cases (54 bvFTD, 44 AD and 26 controls) and post-mortem pathology was available in 18 cases (13 bvFTD and five AD).

The researchers found that patients with bvFTD had greater total WMH volume compared to patients with AD and controls. WMH volumes were associated with disease severity in bvFTD, but not with vascular risk. Distinct spatial patterns of WMH were observed in bvFTD and AD, which reflected characteristic patterns of cortical atrophy. A connection between regional WMH exposure and poorer cognitive performance in discrete cognitive areas was found. WMH-related cognitive impairments were shared between the syndromes; additional associations were seen in bvFTD.

“White matter hyperintensities should be viewed as a core characteristic of frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer’s disease that can contribute to cognitive problems, not just as a marker of vascular disease,” a co-author said in a statement.

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