Perivascular Spaces, Diffusivity Along Perivascular Spaces, and Free Water in Cerebral Small Vessel Disease

Hao Li, Mina A. Jacob, Mengfei Cai, Roy P.C. Kessels, David G. Norris, Marco Duering, Frank Erik De Leeuw, Anil Man Tuladhar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Previous studies have linked the MRI measures of perivascular spaces (PVSs), diffusivity along the perivascular spaces (DTI-ALPS), and free water (FW) to cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) and SVD-related cognitive impairments. However, studies on the longitudinal associations between the three MRI measures, SVD progression, and cognitive decline are lacking. This study aimed to explore how PVS, DTI-ALPS, and FW contribute to SVD progression and cognitive decline. METHODS: This is a cohort study that included participants with SVD who underwent neuroimaging and cognitive assessment, specifically measuring Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), cognitive index, and processing speed, at 2 time points. Three MRI measures were quantified: PVS in basal ganglia (BG-PVS) volumes, FW fraction, and DTI-ALPS. We performed a latent change score model to test inter-relations between the 3 MRI measures and linear regression mixed models to test their longitudinal associations with the changes of other SVD MRI markers and cognitive performances. RESULTS: In baseline assessment, we included 289 participants with SVD, characterized by a median age of 67.0 years and 42.9% women. Of which, 220 participants underwent the follow-up assessment, with a median follow-up time of 3.4 years. Baseline DTI-ALPS was associated with changes in BG-PVS volumes (β = -0.09, p = 0.030), but not vice versa (β = -0.08, p = 0.110). Baseline BG-PVS volumes were associated with changes in white matter hyperintensity (WMH) volumes (β = 0.33, p-corrected < 0.001) and lacune numbers (β = 0.28, p-corrected < 0.001); FW fraction was associated with changes in WMH volumes (β = 0.30, p-corrected < 0.001), lacune numbers (β = 0.28, p-corrected < 0.001), and brain volumes (β = -0.45, p-corrected < 0.001); DTI-ALPS was associated with changes in WMH volumes (β = -0.20, p-corrected = 0.002) and brain volumes (β = 0.23, p-corrected < 0.001). Furthermore, baseline FW fraction was associated with decline in MMSE score (β = -0.17, p-corrected = 0.006); baseline FW fraction and DTI-ALPS were associated with changes in cognitive index (FW fraction: β = -0.25, p-corrected < 0.001; DTI-ALPS: β = 0.20, p-corrected = 0.001) and processing speed over time (FW fraction: β = -0.29, p-corrected < 0.001; DTI-ALPS: β = 0.21, p-corrected < 0.001). DISCUSSION: Our results showed that increased BG-PVS volumes, increased FW fraction, and decreased DTI-ALPS are related to progression of MRI markers of SVD, along with SVD-related cognitive decline over time. These findings may suggest that the glymphatic dysfunction is related to SVD progression, but further studies are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e209306
JournalNeurology
Volume102
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2024
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • n/a OA procedure

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