Research Papers: Gerotarget (Focus on Aging):

How does white matter microstructure differ between the vascular and amnestic mild cognitive impairment?

Yang Yu, Xinyu Liang, Haikuo Yu, Weina Zhao, Yan Lu, Yue Huang, Changhao Yin, Gaolang Gong and Ying Han _

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Yang Yu1,*, Xinyu Liang3,*, Haikuo Yu5, Weina Zhao1, Yan Lu6, Yue Huang7, Changhao Yin1, Gaolang Gong3, and Ying Han2,4

1 Department of Neurology, Hongqi Hospital of Mudanjiang Medical University, Mudanjiang, Heilongjiang, China

2 Department of Neurology, XuanWu Hospital of Capital Medical University, Beijing, China

3 State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning & IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China

4 Center of Alzheimer’s Disease, Beijing Institute for Brain Disorders, China

5 Department of Rehabilitation, XuanWu Hospital of Capital Medical University, Beijing, China

6 Department of Ophthalmology, Xuan Wu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China

7 School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Australia, Sydney, Australia

* These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Ying Han, email:

Gaolang Gong, email:

Changhao Yin, email:

Keywords: mild cognitive impairment, neuroimage, Gerotarget

Received: September 02, 2016 Accepted: December 07, 2016 Published: December 15, 2016


Changes in white matter (WM) microstructure may relate to the pathophysiology of cognitive impairment. Whether WM microstructure differs in two common pre-dementia subtypes, vascular mild cognitive impairment (VaMCI) and amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), is largely unknown. This study included 28 VaMCI (12 men, age: 46 ~ 77 years) and 34 aMCI patients (14 men, age: 51 ~ 79 years). All patients underwent a battery of neuropsychological tests and structural and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning. WM microstructure was quantified using diffusion MRI parameters: fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), axial diffusivity (AxD) and radial diffusivity (RD). These parameters were compared between the two patient groups using tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) after controlling for age, gender, and education. No significant differences in FA/MD/AxD/RD were observed between the VaMCI and aMCI groups, which suggests a similar pattern of WM microstructure in the early stage of cognitive impairment for different dementia types. However, the two groups exhibited significant differences in the relationship between FA and the Auditory Verbal Learning Test (AVLT), which were primarily located around the corona radiate and corpus callosum. Specifically, there were significant positive correlations (R = 0.64, P < 0.001) between the FA and AVLT in the VaMCI group, but the opposite trend was observed in the aMCI group (R = -0.34, P = 0.047). The differential relationship between WM and memory between VaMCI and aMCI indicates an independent neuropathology for specific memory deficits in different types of dementia.

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