White Matter Hyperintensities in Aging and Dementia
Both advancing age and cognitive impairment are associated with increased prevalence of various brain diseases, with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and cerebrovascular disease (CVD) being the most common. Abnormalities of cerebral white matter commonly seen on a magnetic resonance image (MRI) as white matter hyperintensities (WMH) are non-specific, but are increased with aging, CVD, and as a possible consequence of AD. In this chapter, we review current scientific evidence regarding the impact of white matter changes, particularly WMH, on cognition with aging and in the setting of cognitive impairment syndromes such as mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD.
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