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Curr Treat Options Cardiovasc Med. 2014 Mar;16(3):292. doi: 10.1007/s11936-013-0292-z.

White matter disease as a biomarker for long-term cerebrovascular disease and dementia.

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1
Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Chulalongkorn University, Thai Red Cross, 1873, Rama IV Road, Bangkok, 10330, Thailand, aurauma@yahoo.com.

Abstract

White matter disease is commonly detected on brain MRI of aging individuals as white matter hyperintensities (WMH), or 'leukoaraiosis." Over the years, it has become increasingly clear that the presence and extent of WMH is a radiographic marker of small cerebral vessel disease and an important predictor of the lifelong risk of stroke, cognitive impairment, and functional disability. A number of large population-based studies have outlined the significance of WMH as a biomarker for long-term cerebrovascular disease and dementia. In this review, we describe the conceptual framework and methodology that support this association and link the existing knowledge to future lines of investigation in the field.

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