Neuropsychiatric correlates of white matter hyperintensities in Alzheimer's disease


Berlow YA, Wells WM, Ellison JM, Sung YH, Renshaw PF, Harper DG. Neuropsychiatric correlates of white matter hyperintensities in Alzheimer's disease. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2010;25 (8) :780-8.

Date Published:

2010 Aug


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures of brain atrophy and white matter hyperintensities (WMH). METHODS: Thirty-seven patients with probable AD received the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI), the Mini Mental Status Exam (MMSE), and an MRI scan as part of their initial evaluation at the Outpatient Memory Diagnostic Clinic at McLean Hospital. MRI-based volumetric measurements of whole brain atrophy, hippocampal volumes, and WMH were obtained. Analysis of covariance models, using age as a covariate and the presence of specific BPSD as independent variables, were used to test for differences in whole brain volumes, hippocampal volumes and WMH volumes. RESULTS: Increased WMH were associated with symptoms of anxiety, aberrant motor behavior, and night time disturbance, while symptoms of disinhibition were linked to lower WMH volume. No associations were found for whole brain or hippocampal volumes and BPSD. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that white matter changes are associated with the presence of BPSD in AD.
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