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Abstract #4042

Does White Matter Lesion Load Affect the Integrity of Normal-Appearing White Matter in the Ageing Brain?

Susana Muoz Maniega1, Maria C. Valds Hernndez1, Catherine Murray2, Zoe Morris1, Natalie A. Royle1, Alan J. Gow2, Mark E. Bastin3, Ian J. Deary2, Joanna M. Wardlaw1

1Clinical Neurosciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom; 2Psychology, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom; 3Medical Physics, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

Using a sample of 449 participants from the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 (age 72-73) we found subtle changes in the integrity of normal white matter, as indicated by diffusion parameters and T1 relaxation time, in the brains of older people who presented high incidence of white matter lesions when compared to those with little or no lesions. This finding might affect future studies of cognitive ageing which should investigate whether the associations observed between lesion incidence and cognition are due to the white matter lesions or to the changes in normal appearing white matter.