Vascular risk factors and white matter hyperintensities in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment


Micaela Sepe Monti, Department of Neurological Sciences, University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’-II Faculty, Via di Grottarossa 1035 Rome 00189, Italy
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Background –  Subjects affected by aMCI are considered at high risk for AD. Nevertheless, the role of both vascular risk factors and WMH is matter of debate.

Patients and Methods –  We enrolled consecutively 21 aMCI subjects according to Petersen Criteria; the study included routine screening for dementia, neuropsychological evaluation and brain MRI. Six vascular risk factors were assessed and WMH was quantified by means of a semiautomatic lesion-detection program.

Results –  Conversion to AD, according to NINCDS-ADRDA criteria, was 47.6%. Converters tended to be more affected by the most of vascular risk factors while no difference was noted in WMH. The best predictors of conversion to AD were scores obtained at several neuropsychological examination.

Conclusion –  Our results show that criteria for aMCI identify subjects with a high risk to develop AD. WMH doesn't seem to have a role in progression from aMCI to AD, while some vascular risk factors seem to promote it.