Basal Ganglia Enlarged Perivascular Spaces are Linked to Cognitive Function in Patients with Cerebral Small Vessel Disease
Marjolein Huijts, Annelien Duits, Julie Staals, Abraham A Kroon, Peter W de Leeuw and Robert J van Oostenbrugge
Affiliation: Department of Neurology, Maastricht University Medical Centre, PO Box 5800, 6202 AZ Maastricht , The Netherlands.
Enlarged perivascular spaces (EPVS) are a feature of cerebral small vessel disease (cSVD) and have been
related to cSVD severity. A higher number of EPVS were related to decreased cognition in healthy elderly, but this has
never been investigated in patients at high risk of cSVD. We included 189 patients with a high risk of cSVD (hypertensive
patients and lacunar stroke patients). Patients underwent brain MRI and extensive neuropsychological assessment. EPVS
were rated in the basal ganglia (BG) and centrum semiovale (CSO). Correlation analyses between EPVS and cognitive
domains were adjusted for white matter lesions (WMLs), age, sex and symptomatic stroke. Negative correlations were
found between EPVS in the BG and all cognitive domains, independent of WMLs. After correction for age, results
remained significant for information processing speed (IPS) only. No independent correlation was found between EPVS
in the CSO and cognition. We demonstrated that more BG EPVS were associated with a decrease in IPS, independent of
age and WMLs. This emphasizes that specifically EPVS in the BG are associated with cSVD, and with cSVD-related
decreases in cognition.
Keywords: Cerebral small vessel disease, cognition, enlarged perivascular spaces, hypertension, lacunar stroke, white matter
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