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Abstract #0911

Why white matter matters – Interplay of white matter hyperintensities, white matter tracts, and processing speed – The Maastricht Study

Laura W.M. Vergoossen1,2, Jacobus F.A. Jansen1,2,3, Thomas T. van Sloten4,5, Miranda T. Schram2,4,5, Walter H. Backes1,2, and on behalf of The Maastricht Study4
1Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, Netherlands, 2Mental Health and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands, 3Electrical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands, 4Internal Medicine, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, Netherlands, 5School for Cardiovascular Disease, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands

White matter hyperintensities interfere with the course of white matter tracts, and disrupt connections between gray matter regions. This process might potentially underlie cognitive decline. In the large population-based Maastricht Study (n=5083), we found an association of lower processing speed scores with larger white matter hyperintensities and smaller total tract volumes in important processing speed related white matter tracts. These findings provide more insight into how white matter hyperintensities seem to influence the cognition-sensitive organization of white matter tracts.

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