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Neuropsychologia. 2007 May 15;45(9):2009-15. Epub 2007 Feb 20.

White matter hyperintensities and within-person variability in community-dwelling adults aged 60-64 years.

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Centre for Cognition and Neuroimaging, Brunel University, Uxbridge, West London UB8 3PH, UK.


Estimates of white matter hyperintensities (WMH) derived from T2-weighted MRI were investigated in relation to cognitive performance in 469 healthy community-dwelling adults aged 60-64 years. Frontal lobe WMH but not WMH from other brain regions (temporal, parietal, and occipital lobes, anterior and posterior horn, periventricular body) were associated with elevated within-person reaction time (RT) variability (trial to trial fluctuations in RT performance) but not performance on several other cognitive tasks including psychomotor speed, memory, and global cognition. The findings are consistent with the view that elevated within-person variability is related to neurobiological disturbance, and that attentional mechanisms supported by the frontal cortex play a key role in this type of variability.

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