Correlation between degree of white matter hyperintensities and global gray matter volume decline rate
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Whether the degree of white matter hyperintensities (WMHs) shows a significant correlation with the rate of global gray matter volume decline over a period following initial baseline measurement remains unclear. The purpose of the present study was to reveal the relationship between the degree of WMHs at baseline and the rate of global gray matter volume decline by applying a longitudinal design.
Using a 6-year longitudinal design and magnetic resonance images of the brains of 160 healthy individuals aged over 50 years and living in the community, we analyzed the correlation between degree of WMHs using Fazekas scaling at baseline and rate of global gray matter volume decline 6 years later. To obtain the rate of global gray matter volume decline, we calculated global gray matter volume and intracranial volume at baseline and at follow-up using a fully automated method.
The annual percentage change in the gray matter ratio (GMR, APCGMR), in which GMR represents the percentage of gray matter volume in the intracranial volume, showed a significant positive correlation with the degree of deep WMHs and periventricular WMHs at baseline, after adjusting for age, gender, present history of hypertension, and diabetes mellitus.
Our results suggest that degree of WMHs at baseline predicts the rate of gray matter volume decline 6 years later and that simple visual scaling of WMHs could contribute to predicting the rate of global gray matter volume decline.
KeywordsAging White matter hyperintensities Gray matter Volumetry Longitudinal
We thank K. Inoue and K. Okada for insightful comments, and K. Inaba, K. Saito, N. Ishibashi, and H. Masuyama for technical help in collecting data.
This study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the U.S. National Cancer Institute. Part of this research was supported by a grant from the Telecommunications Advancement Organization of Japan. This study was also supported in part by the 21st Century Center of Excellence (COE) Program (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; MEXT), entitled "Future Medical Engineering-based Bio-nanotechnology" at Tohoku University, and a grant from the JSPS-CIHR Joint Health Research Program. This work was also supported by the MEXT Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B), 18790864.
Conflict of interest statement
We declare that we have no conflict of interest.
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