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Arch Neurol. 2010 Oct;67(10):1231-7. doi: 10.1001/archneurol.2010.230.

Brain structure and cerebrovascular risk in cognitively impaired patients: Shanghai Community Brain Health Initiative-pilot phase.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University of California at Davis, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA.



To investigate the associations among brain morphologic changes as seen on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), cerebrovascular risk (CVR), and clinical diagnosis and cognition in elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment and dementia living in urban Shanghai.


Cross-sectional study performed from May 1, 2007, to November 31, 2008.


Memory Disorders Clinic of the Huashan Hospital and the Shanghai community.


Ninety-six older people: 32 with normal cognition (NC), 30 with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), and 34 with dementia.


For each patient, we administered a neurologic and physical examination, neuropsychological evaluation, and brain MRI and genotyped the apolipoprotein E-ε4 (APOE-ε4) gene. The volumes determined by MRI were assessed using a semiautomatic method.


Brain volume was significantly smaller in the dementia patients compared with the NC (P < .001) and aMCI patients (P = .04). Hippocampal volume (HV) was lower and white matter hyperintensity (WMH) volume was higher in those with aMCI (HV: P = .03; WMH volume: P = .04) and dementia (HV: P < .001; WMH volume: P = .002) compared with NC participants. The presence of APOE-ε4 was significantly associated with reduced HV (P = .02). Systolic blood pressure was positively associated with CVR score (P = .04); diastolic blood pressure (P = .02) and CVR score (P = .04) were positively associated with WMH volume. The WMH volume (P = .03) and CVR score (P = .03) were higher among dementia patients compared with NC participants.


Brain structure changes seen on MRI were significantly associated with clinical diagnosis. In addition, blood pressure was highly associated with CVR score and WMH volume. These results suggest that MRI is a valuable measure of brain injury in a Chinese cohort and can serve to assess the effects of various degenerative and cerebrovascular diseases.

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