Risk Factors for Aphasia in Cerebral Small Vessel Diseases: A Retrospective Analysis

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Author(s): Jiawei Xin, Xuanyu Huang*, Xiaodong Pan, Lin Lin, Mingyao Sun, Chen Liu, Qinyong Ye*.

Journal Name: Current Neurovascular Research

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Background: Lacunes and white matter hyperintensities (WMH) are two common findings seen on neuroimaging in patients with cerebral small vessel disease (cSVD). Clinically we observed that some patients with cSVD have aphasia through the language assessment scale. Our study aimed to explore the underlying risk factors for aphasia in cSVD patients.

Methods: This study retrospectively analyzed 38 patients, with and without aphasia, aged 50 or over, Chinese Han population, diagnosed as cSVD with lacunes and/or WMH. We collected demographic characteristics and vascular risk factors. The severity of WMH was assessed by the Age Related White Matter Changes (ARWMC) rating scale.

Results: Risk factors associated with aphasia were lower education (p = 0.029), higher total cholesterol (TC) level (p = 0.023) and higher low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) level (p = 0.027). After controlling for age and sex, level of TC (odds ratios, 1.96; 95% confidence interval, 1.06-3.62; p = 0.032) remained associated with aphasia independently.

Conclusion: High level of TC was significantly associated with a higher risk of aphasia in clinically silent cSVD patients. Early interventions including lipid-lowering treatment, cranial MRI and ARWMC rating scale should be performed. Further studies are needed to explore proper methods of prevention and treatment for aphasia in clinically silent cSVD patients, in addition to understanding the pathophysiological mechanism.

Keywords: aphasia, cerebral small vessel disease, cSVD, lacune, risk factors, white matter hyperintensities, WMH

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(E-pub Ahead of Print)
DOI: 10.2174/1567202616666190227202638
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