ASSOCIATION BETWEEN WHITE MATTER MICROSTRUCTURE, EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS AND PROCESSING SPEED IN OLDER ADULTS: THE IMPACT OF VASCULAR HEALTH

Published on Jan 1, 2013in Human Brain Mapping4.421
· DOI :10.1002/HBM.21412
Heidi I.L. Jacobs30
Estimated H-index: 30
(UM: Maastricht University),
Elizabeth C. Leritz19
Estimated H-index: 19
(Harvard University)
+ 7 AuthorsDavid H. Salat77
Estimated H-index: 77
(Harvard University)
Sources
Abstract
Cerebral white matter damage is not only a commonly reported consequence of healthy aging, but is also associated with cognitive decline and dementia. The aetiology of this damage is unclear; however, individuals with hypertension have a greater burden of white matter signal abnor- malities (WMSA) on MR imaging than those without hypertension. It is therefore possible that elevated blood pressure (BP) impacts white matter tissue structure which in turn has a negative impact on cognition. However, little information exists about whether vascular health indexed by BP mediates the relationship between cognition and white matter tissue structure. We used diffusion tensor imag- ing to examine the impact of vascular health on regional associations between white matter integrity and cognition in healthy older adults spanning the normotensive to moderate-severe hypertensive BP range (43-87 years; N ¼ 128). We examined how white matter structure was associated with perform- ance on tests of two cognitive domains, executive functioning (EF) and processing speed (PS), and how patterns of regional associations were modified by BP and WMSA. Multiple linear regression and structural equation models demonstrated associations between tissue structure, EF and PS in frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital white matter regions. Radial diffusivity was more prominently associ- ated with performance than axial diffusivity. BP only minimally influenced the relationship between
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