Background: This study investigates the effect of leukoaraiosis on patients presenting with cognitive impairment after lacunar stroke. Methods: Fourty-six patients with cognitive impairment and newly discovered lacunar stroke detected by brain magnetic resonance imaging underwent neuropsychological testing. Results: Patients with both lacunar infarct and leukoaraiosis performed less well on cognitive measures, compared to those with lacunar infarcts alone. Additionally, leukoaraiosis severity inversely correlated with cognitive performance. Conclusions: In patients with lacunar stroke, presence of leukoaraiosis is associated with worse performance in multiple cognitive domains. These findings suggest lacunar infarcts plus leukoaraiosis is a common etiology for vascular dementia.
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