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Abstract #0385

Cardiac disease may exacerbate age-related white matter disruptions: improvements are feasible after cardiac rehabilitation

Stefan E. Poirier1,2, Neville Suskin3, Keith S. St. Lawrence1,2, J. Kevin Shoemaker4, and Udunna C. Anazodo1,2,5,6
1Lawson Imaging, Lawson Health Research Institute, London, ON, Canada, 2Medical Biophysics, Western University, London, ON, Canada, 3Cardiology, Western University, London, ON, Canada, 4School of Kinesiology, Western University, London, ON, Canada, 5Clinical Neurological Sciences, Western University, London, ON, Canada, 6Research Centre for Studies in Aging, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada

White matter (WM) degeneration is associated with cognitive impairment in coronary artery disease (CAD). We used diffusion tensor imaging to assess WM integrity in brains of CAD patients before and after cardiac rehabilitation (CR) and in young and old healthy controls (HC). Widespread WM changes were observed between older and younger HC, while robust WM changes were observed in WM regions linked to cognition in CAD patients at baseline with improvements following CR. In CAD, disease manifestation and brain aging may contribute to changes in brain WM macrostructure with potential influence on cognition, and these may be quelled by CR.

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