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Identifying the neural correlates of executive functions in early cerebral microangiopathy: A combined VBM and DTI study

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Quinque,  Eva Maria
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Arélin,  Katrin
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Clinic for Cognitive Neurology, University of Leipzig, Germany;
Leipzig Research Center for Civilization Diseases (LIFE), University of Leipzig, Germany;

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Roggenhofer,  Elisabeth
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Clinic for Cognitive Neurology, University of Leipzig, Germany;
Integrated Research and Treatment Center Adiposity Diseases, University of Leipzig, Germany;

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Streitbürger,  Daniel Paolo
Methods and Development Unit Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Villringer,  Arno
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Clinic for Cognitive Neurology, University of Leipzig, Germany;
Leipzig Research Center for Civilization Diseases (LIFE), University of Leipzig, Germany;

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Frisch,  Stefan
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Department of Neurology, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany;

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Mueller,  Karsten
Methods and Development Unit Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Schroeter,  Matthias
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Clinic for Cognitive Neurology, University of Leipzig, Germany;
Leipzig Research Center for Civilization Diseases (LIFE), University of Leipzig, Germany;
Consortium for Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration, Ulm, Germany;

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Citation

Quinque, E. M., Arélin, K., Dukart, J., Roggenhofer, E., Streitbürger, D. P., Villringer, A., et al. (2012). Identifying the neural correlates of executive functions in early cerebral microangiopathy: A combined VBM and DTI study. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, 32(10), 1869-1878. doi:10.1038/jcbfm.2012.96.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-1537-6
Abstract
Cerebral microangiopathy (CMA) has been associated with executive dysfunction and fronto-parietal neural network disruption. Advances in magnetic resonance imaging allow more detailed analyses of gray (e.g., voxel-based morphometry—VBM) and white matter (e.g., diffusion tensor imaging—DTI) than traditional visual rating scales. The current study investigated patients with early CMA and healthy control subjects with all three approaches. Neuropsychological assessment focused on executive functions, the cognitive domain most discussed in CMA. The DTI and age-related white matter changes rating scales revealed convergent results showing widespread white matter changes in early CMA. Correlations were found in frontal and parietal areas exclusively with speeded, but not with speed-corrected executive measures. The VBM analyses showed reduced gray matter in frontal areas. All three approaches confirmed the hypothesized fronto-parietal network disruption in early CMA. Innovative methods (DTI) converged with results from conventional methods (visual rating) while allowing greater spatial and tissue accuracy. They are thus valid additions to the analysis of neural correlates of cognitive dysfunction. We found a clear distinction between speeded and nonspeeded executive measures in relationship to imaging parameters. Cognitive slowing is related to disease severity in early CMA and therefore important for early diagnostics.