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Perivascular spaces in the centrum semiovale at the beginning of the 8th decade of life: Effect on cognition and associations with mineral deposition

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
JournalBrain imaging and behavior
Early online date27 Jun 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Jun 2019


Brain iron deposits (IDs) are indicative of microvessel dysfunction which may predispose to small vessel disease (SVD) brain damage and worsen cognition later in life. Visible perivascular spaces in the centrum semiovale (CSO-PVS) are SVD features linked with microvessel dysfunction. We examined possible associations of CSO-PVS volume and count with brain IDs and cognitive abilities in 700 community-dwelling individuals from the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 who underwent detailed cognitive testing and multimodal brain MRI at mean age 72.7 years. Brain IDs were assessed automatically followed by manual editing. PVS were automatically assessed in the centrum semiovale and deep corona radiata supraventricular. General factors of overall cognitive function (g), processing speed (g-speed) and memory (g-memory) were used in the analyses. Median (IQR) volumes of IDs and CSO-PVS expressed as a percentage of intracranial volume were 0.0021 (0.011) and 0.22 (0.13)% respectively. Median count of CSO-PVS was 410 (IQR=201). Total volumes of CSO-PVS and ID, adjusted for head size, were correlated (Spearman ρ=0.13, p<0.001). CSO-PVS volume, despite being correlated with all three cognitive measures, was only associated with g-memory (B=-114.5, SE=48.35, p=0.018) in general linear models, adjusting for age, sex, vascular risk factors, childhood intelligence and white matter hyperintensity volume. The interaction of CSO-PVS count with diabetes (B=-0.0019, SE=0.00093, p=0.041) and volume with age (B=1.57, SE=0.67, p=0.019) were also associated with g-memory. Linear regression models did not replicate these associations. Therefore, it does not seem that CSO-PVS burden is directly associated with general cognitive ability in older age.

    Research areas

  • iron deposition, brain, perivascular spaces, Virchow-Robin spaces, MRI, cognition, ageing

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