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Abstract #2033

Brain white matter abnormalities in Alzheimer’s disease with and without cerebrovascular disease

Fang Ji1, Ofer Pasternak2, Yng Miin Loke1, Saima Hilal3,4, Mohammad Kamran Ikram1, Xin Xu3,4, Boon Yeow Tan5, Narayanaswamy Venketasubramanian6, Christopher Li-Hsian Chen3,4, and Juan Zhou1,4

1Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Neuroscience and Behavioral Disorders Program, Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School, Singapore, Singapore, 2Department of Psychiatry, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, USA, Boston, MD, United States, 3Department of Pharmacology, National University Health System, Clinical Research Centre, Singapore, Singapore, 4Memory Aging & Cognition Centre, National University Health System, Singapore, Singapore, 5St. Luke’s Hospital, Singapore, Singapore, 6Raffles Neuroscience Centre, Raffles Hospital, Singapore, Singapore

Using a novel free-water method, we examined the white matter tissue deterioration and extracellular water content changes in Alzheimer’s disease with and without cerebrovascular disease and vascular dementia. We found that free-water and white matter hyperintensity (WMH) were highly correlated; both might reflect neuroinflammation in dementia. After correcting for increased extracellular water, the degree and extent of white matter integrity decreased in dementia subtypes; nevertheless, the cortical difference between groups remained. Intriguingly, free water compartment (but not WMH volume) was associated with symptom severity. Our findings suggested the potential of free-water method in differential diagnosis and disease progression monitoring.

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