Cheryl R. McCreary1, 2, Emily Donaldson3, Karla G. Sanchez3, Eric E. Smith3, 4, Richard Frayne1, 2
1Radiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; 2Seaman Family MR Research Centre, Foothills Medical Centre, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; 3Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; 4Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Age-related white matter hyperintensities (WMH) reflect various underlying tissue pathologies, including ischemic demyelination, microinfarction and axonal loss, and may identify tissue abnormalities of varying severity. Diffusion tensor imaging parameters such as fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) are proposed to be more sensitive to the underlying white matter structural integrity and more closely associated with cognitive function. Using histogram analysis of a) WMH, b) normal appearing brain parenchyma, and c) whole brain in subjects with cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) and healthy age-matched subjects, we found MD peak and MD peak height, were correlated with verbal memory, executive function, visual memory and visual perception and processing speed (VPPS). WMH volume was less strongly correlated with verbal memory and VPPS and was not significantly associated with executive function or verbal memory.