Cognitive impact of lacunar infarcts and white matter hyperintensity volume

Matthew W. Warren, Myron F. Weiner, Heidi Rossetti, Roderick W McColl, Ronald M Peshock, Kevin S. King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Subcortical lacunar infarcts and white matter hyperintensities (WMH) are common neuroradiological findings, but few studies associate between these insults and cognition in a community-dwelling population. Methods: The Dallas Heart Study is a populationbased initiative whose assessments included demographic and clinical findings including brain MRI and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). The presence and number of lacunes in subjects aged over 55 years were assessed by study physicians. The WMH volume was measured by an automated method. The association between the presence and number of lacunar infarcts and of WMH volume with the total MoCA score and subdomains was assessed using linear regression with adjustment for age, gender and self-reported ethnicity. Results: In 609 subjects with valid data, both the presence and the increasing number of lacunes were associated with lower MoCA scores, even after adjusting for demographic variables. The presence of lacunes was also associated with lower scores in the memory, executive and attention subdomains. The WMH volume was not significantly associated with the MoCA score. Conclusion: The presence and increasing number of lacunes in midlife is associated with a lower performance in multiple domains of a cognitive screening measure after adjusting for demographic factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-175
Number of pages6
JournalDementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders Extra
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015


  • Cognition
  • Lacune
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Memory
  • Montreal Cognitive Assessment
  • White matter hyperintensity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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