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Table of Contents
Vol. 35, No. 2, 2010
Issue release date: August 2010
Section title: Original Paper
Free Access
Neuroepidemiology 2010;35:117–122

White Matter Hyperintensity and Cognitive Functioning in the Racial and Ethnic Minority Cohort of the Framingham Heart Study

Stavitsky K.a · Du Y.b · Seichepine D.a · Laudate T.M.a · Beiser A.b–d · Seshadri S.c, d · DeCarli C.e · Wolf P.A.c, d · Au R.c, d
aDepartment of Psychology, Boston University, bDepartment of Biostatistics, Boston University School of Public Health, and cDepartment of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Mass., dFramingham Heart Study, Framingham, Mass., and eDepartment of Neurology and Center for Neuroscience, University of California, Davis, Sacramento, Calif., USA
email Corresponding Author

Rhoda Au, PhD

Department of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine

72 E. Concord Street, B608

Boston, MA 02118 (USA)

Tel. +1 617 638 5450, Fax +1 617 638 8086, E-Mail rhodaau@bu.edu

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Background: Previous studies have demonstrated an association between white matter hyperintensities (WMH) and cognitive performance primarily in Caucasian samples, limiting generalizability to other ethnic and racial groups. This study investigated the association of WMH and cognition in an ethnic and racial minority cohort (Omni) of the Framingham Heart Study and compared these results to the Caucasian (Offspring) cohort. Methods: Quantitative brain MRI and neuropsychological evaluations were performed on stroke- and dementia-free participants. Cognitive assessment included verbal memory, visuospatial memory and organization, language, and executive functioning. Linear regression models were conducted to assess the association between WMH and cognitive function. Results: The Omni group presented with demographic factors that significantly differed from those of the Offspring group: they were younger, but had more stroke risk factors such as hypertension. In the Offspring group, WMH volume was significantly associated with poorer performance on tests of executive function and visual organization. No significant associations between WMH and cognitive measures were found in the Omni group, but no differences (significant interaction terms) were seen between the regression coefficients. Conclusions: The Omni cohort had greater variability in factors that may mediate the association of WMH and cognition. More research is needed to investigate how stroke risk factors impact on the occurrence of WMH and its association with cognition in more diverse cohorts.

© 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel

Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: September 25, 2009
Accepted: April 08, 2010
Published online: June 15, 2010
Issue release date: August 2010

Number of Print Pages: 6
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 3

ISSN: 0251-5350 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0208 (Online)

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