Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

'Harmless' condition shown to alter brain function in elderly

August 13, 2012
OAK BROOK, Ill. - Researchers at the Mayo Clinic say a common condition called leukoaraiosis, made up of tiny areas in the brain that have been deprived of oxygen and appear as bright white dots on MRI scans, is not a harmless part of the aging process, but rather a disease that alters brain function in the elderly. Results of their study are published online in the journal Radiology.

"There has been a lot of controversy over these commonly identified abnormalities on MRI scans and their clinical impact," said Kirk M. Welker, M.D., assistant professor of radiology in the College of Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "In the past, leukoaraiosis has been considered a benign part of the aging process, like gray hair and wrinkles."

Leukoaraiosis, also called small vessel ischemia and often referred to as unidentified bright objects or "UBOs" on brain scans, is a condition in which diseased blood vessels lead to small areas of damage in the white matter of the brain. The lesions are common in the brains of people over the age of 60, although the amount of disease varies among individuals.

"We know that aging is a risk factor for leukoaraiosis, and we suspect that high blood pressure may also play a role," Dr. Welker said.

Dr. Welker's team performed functional MRI (fMRI) scans on cognitively normal elderly participants recruited from the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging between 2006 and 2010. In 18 participants, the amount of leukoaraiosis was a moderate 25 milliliters, and in 18 age-matched control participants, the amount of disease was less than five milliliters.

The patients were imaged in an MRI scanner as they performed a semantic decision task by identifying word pairs and a visual perception task that involved differentiating straight from diagonal lines. fMRI is a special type of magnetic resonance imaging that measures metabolic changes in an active part of the brain.

Although both groups performed the tasks with similar success, the fMRI scans revealed different brain activation patterns between the two groups. Compared to members of the control group, patients with moderate levels of leukoaraiosis had atypical activation patterns, including decreased activation in areas of the brain involved in language processing during the semantic decision task and increased activation in the visual-spatial areas of the brain during the visual perception task.

"Different systems of the brain respond differently to disease," Dr. Welker explained. "White matter damage affects connections within the brain's language network, which leads to an overall reduction in network activity."

He pointed out that identifying leukoaraiosis in the brain is important, both for individual patients undergoing brain mapping for surgery or other treatments and for research studies.

For improved neurological health, Dr. Welker said efforts should be taken to prevent leukoaraiosis from occurring.

"Our results add to a growing body of evidence that this is a disease we need to pay attention to," he said. "Leukoaraiosis is not a benign manifestation of aging but an important pathologic condition that alters brain function."

Radiological Society of North America


Related Leukoaraiosis Current Events and Leukoaraiosis News Articles


Under 50? Silent duo could put you at risk for a big stroke
Being young doesn't mean you are immune to a stroke. You may feel healthy; you may be 18 or a vigorous 50. And yet you could be more vulnerable than you know. That could be because of the role played by silent risk factors in stroke.
More Leukoaraiosis Current Events and Leukoaraiosis News Articles

Alterations in working memory as a function of leukoaraiosis in dementia [An article from: Neuropsychologia]

Alterations in working memory as a function of leukoaraiosis in dementia [An article from: Neuropsychologia]
by M. Lamar (Author), C.C. Price (Author), D.J. Libon (Author), D.L. Penney (Author), Kap (Author)




Cerebral Small Vessel Disease

Cerebral Small Vessel Disease
by Leonardo Pantoni (Editor), Philip B. Gorelick (Editor)


Small vessel disease is an important frontier in neurology; about 25% of strokes are classified as small vessel, and SVD is the most common cause of vascular cognitive impairment. The risk of developing SVD increases with age, making this a growing concern for countries with aging populations. Despite this, there has been a paucity of information about its causes, diagnosis, prevention and treatment. This volume brings together contributions from leading international experts in the field, and discusses pathogenesis, pathophysiology, clinical and radiologic manifestations, prevention and treatment modalities, and future directions for research and practice. Genetic forms of SVD are discussed, as well as the rapid development of neuroimaging techniques as tools for screening and...

Oxford Case Histories in Stroke

Oxford Case Histories in Stroke
by Sarah T. Pendlebury (Author), Ursula G. Schulz (Author), Aneil Malhotra (Author), Peter M. Rothwell (Author)


Based around the core curriculum for specialist trainees, Oxford Case Histories in Stroke features 51 well-structured, peer-reviewed cases from the Oxford Hospitals giving detailed coverage of the specialty, including diagnostic and management dilemmas.

Each case comprises a brief clinical history and the relevant examination findings; details of investigations undertaken, followed by questions on differential diagnosis and management; and detailed answers and discussion. The question-and-answer format is designed to enhance the reader's diagnostic ability and clinical understanding.

As part of the Oxford Case Histories series, this book is aimed at post-membership trainees and consultants and will be a useful resource for those preparing for exit examinations or...

The Behavioral Neurology of White Matter

The Behavioral Neurology of White Matter
by Christopher Filley (Author)


Behavioral neurology is founded on lesions of cortical gray matter, but recently the contributions of cerebral white matter to cognitive and emotional dysfunction have also attracted attention. The Behavioral Neurology of White Matter surveys this broad and fascinating field from a clinical perspective. Stimulated by recent improvements in neuroimaging, white matter has been carefully studied, and its role in the operations of cognition and emotion clarified by correlations with clinical observations. The relevance of normal and abnormal white matter to behavioral neurology is apparent in every context where this question has been examined: in development, aging, and in a host of diseases, intoxications, and injuries. Since the first edition of this book in 2001, steady advances have been...

Toole's Cerebrovascular Disorders (Cambridge Medicine)

Toole's Cerebrovascular Disorders (Cambridge Medicine)
by E. Steve Roach MD (Author), Kerstin Bettermann MD (Author), Jose Biller MD (Author)


Toole's Cerebrovascular Disorders, was the first modern book devoted to the care of the stroke, originally published more than 40 years ago. Drs. E. Steve Roach, Kerstin Bettermann, and José Biller have completely revised and updated sixth edition of the highly respected standard for stroke diagnosis and treatment, adding chapters on genetics, pregnancy-related stroke, and acute treatment. The practical focus of the book has not changed, retaining its emphasis on bedside diagnosis and treatment. Easily accessible for both stroke specialists and residents, the sixth edition has been modernized to keep pace with the rapid expansion of knowledge in stroke care and includes evidence-based recommendations, the latest technology and imaging, and risk factors. The text is supplemented with more...

Cognitive Neurology: A clinical textbook

Cognitive Neurology: A clinical textbook
by Stefano Cappa (Editor), Jubin Abutalebi (Editor), Jean-Francois Demonet (Editor), Paul Fletcher (Editor), Peter Garrard (Editor)


The study of patients affected by disorders of the central nervous system is one of the crucial research methods for investigating the organization of cognitive functions in the brain. However, many clinicians remain unaware of the significant advances that have taken place in the field of cognitive neuroscience in the last decades. This book provides an introduction to the cognitive and behavioural aspects of the clinical practice of neurology. Most of the contributors to this book combine an active clinical practice with a leading role in their respective research area, and have provided concise summaries of the theoretical advances which they consider as potentially relevant for the clinical evaluation and treatment of patients. This general approach has led to a format which is...

Dementia: Presentations, Differential Diagnosis, and Nosology (The Johns Hopkins Series in Psychiatry and Neuroscience)

Dementia: Presentations, Differential Diagnosis, and Nosology (The Johns Hopkins Series in Psychiatry and Neuroscience)
by V. Olga B. Emery (Editor), Thomas E. Oxman (Editor)


In this new edition of the acclaimed Dementia: Presentations, Differential Diagnosis, and Nosology, V. Olga B. Emery, Ph.D., and Thomas E. Oxman, M.D., bring together a distinguished group of medical authorities―including many who have done seminal research in this field―to discuss the spectrum of dementing disorders and explain their overlap, presentations, and differential diagnosis. The chapters present original data as well as material from the authors' clinical experiences. Current classification systems are evaluated and modified to better account for common presentations of dementia. Thoroughly revised, updated, and expanded, the second edition includes new material on neuroimaging, genetics, the role of inflammation in Alzheimer disease, retrophylogenesis in Alzheimer memory,...

Practical Guide to Neurovascular Emergencies

Practical Guide to Neurovascular Emergencies
by Guillaume SALIOU (Author), Marie Theaudin (Author), Claire Join-Lambert Vincent (Author), Raphaelle Souillard-Scemama (Author)


Modern vascular neurology, particularly in the emergency setting, often requires a great capacity for analysis and synthesis. Physicians who manage these patients must have acquired multidisciplinary skills, including a good knowledge of clinical neurology and medical imaging, but they may also need to be skilled in cardiology and intensive care. The initial clinical and imaging examinations play a decisive role in the management strategy. This book, written by neurologists and neuroradiologists, is designed to help all physicians involved in the management of neurovascular disease. The format and contents of this book, including the latest guidelines from learned societies, are designed to provide a succinct and practical guide. Although this book is particularly devoted to ischaemic...

Cerebral Microbleeds: Pathophysiology to Clinical Practice (Cambridge Medicine)

Cerebral Microbleeds: Pathophysiology to Clinical Practice (Cambridge Medicine)
by David J. Werring (Editor)


Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability throughout the world. About one in three symptomatic strokes are due to disease of small perforating arteries; however, most effective interventions are targeted at disease of large arteries. The underlying mechanisms and treatment of small vessel disease remain poorly understood. Microbleeds have emerged as a critical imaging marker of small vessel disease, being found in all types of stroke. With increasing evidence that microbleeds are caused by hypertensive arteriopathy and cerebral amyloid angiopathy, they are likely to play a strong future role in increasing our understanding of the causes of small vessel disease and the potential link between cerebrovascular disease and neurodegeneration. Cerebral Microbleeds summarizes our current...

Stroke Medicine (Oxford Specialist Handbooks in Neurology)

Stroke Medicine (Oxford Specialist Handbooks in Neurology)
by Hugh Markus (Author), Anthony Pereira (Author), Geoffrey Cloud (Author)


Stroke is an enormous health problem. It is the third major cause of death, and the major cause of adult neurological disability. As many as a quarter of women in their 80s may suffer stroke. It represents a huge financial burden for the NHS, costing more than heart disease. Stroke care has historically been poor in many places, but a revolution in care is taking place as a result of specific treatments such as stroke units and thrombolysis, which have been shown to markedly improve outcome. This has led to many countries reorganizing the way they offer stroke care.

Stroke Medicine is a practical handbook for the practicing physician. Written by a multi-disciplinary team of three practicing consultants from a leading UK stroke service, it provides an up-to-date and easily...

© 2015 BrightSurf.com