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Abstract #0318

FMRI and Carotid Artery Intima-Media Thickness in Patients with Cardiovascular Disease

Haley A, Sweet L, Forman D, Poppas A, Paul R, Gunstad J, Cohen R
Brown University

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between a non-invasive marker of cardiovascular health, common carotid artery intima-media thickness (CCA IMT), and fMRI activation during a verbal working memory task in patients with cardiovascular disease. IMT was measured by B-mode ultrasound. Increased CCA IMT was associated with significant decreases in both task related signal intensity and number of recruited voxels in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. These results confirm the vulnerability of attention-executive networks to damage due to cerebrovascular disease, and reaffirm the need for elucidating the relationships between vascular health, cerebral perfusion, and brain function.