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Neurobiol Aging. 2012 Jan;33(1):201.e1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2010.07.015. Epub 2010 Aug 23.

Association between white matter hyperintensities and executive decline in mild cognitive impairment is network dependent.

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1
Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, School for Mental Health and Neuroscience, Alzheimer Centre, Limburg, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands. h.jacobs@np.unimaas.nl

Abstract

White matter hyperintensities (WMH) in Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) have been associated with impaired executive functioning, although contradictory findings have been reported. The aim of this study was to examine whether WMH location influenced the relation between WMH and executive functioning in MCI participants (55-90 years) in the European multicenter memory-clinic-based DESCRIPA study, who underwent MRI scanning at baseline (N = 337). Linear mixed model analysis was performed to test the association between WMH damage in three networks (frontal-parietal, frontal-subcortical and frontal-parietal-subcortical network) and change in executive functioning over a 3-year period. WMH in the frontal-parietal and in the frontal-parietal-subcortical network were associated with decline in executive functioning. However, the frontal-subcortical network was not associated with change in executive functioning. Our results suggest that parietal WMH are a significant contributor to executive decline in MCI and that investigation of WMH in the cerebral networks supporting cognitive functions provide a new way to differentiate stable from cognitive declining MCI individuals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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