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Arch Neurol. 1990 May;47(5):524-7.

Periventricular and white matter magnetic resonance imaging hyperintensities do not differ between Alzheimer's disease and normal aging.

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Department of Neurology, University of Lille, France.


We studied normotensive and nondiabetic subjects, free of cardiac disorders, to determine whether Alzheimer's disease is a possible factor of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) white matter or periventricular hyperintensities, and to investigate relationships between computed tomographic scan and MRI changes. We failed to reveal (1) any difference in the severity of MRI white matter and periventricular hyperintensities between patients and controls, (2) any correlation of MRI white matter and periventricular hyperintensities with either ages or Mini-Mental State Examination scores. We found (1) a poor interobserver agreement, and (2) a correlation between computed tomographic scan and MRI white matter changes but not between computed tomographic and MRI periventricular changes. We conclude that MRI periventricular and white matter hyperintensities are frequent incidental findings in the elderly and do not significantly differ between patients with Alzheimer's disease and healthy controls.

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