Characteristics of MR infarcts associated with dementia and cognitive function in the elderly

Neelum T. Aggarwal, Julie A. Schneider, Robert S. Wilson, Todd L. Beck, Denis A. Evans, Charles DeCarli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Little information exists on the simultaneous effects of magnetic resonance (MR) infarct characteristics, that may increase the likelihood of dementia or lower cognitive function in community populations. Methods: Participants were 580 community-dwelling individuals from the Chicago Health and Aging Project (CHAP) who underwent detailed clinical evaluation and MR imaging. The association of MR infarct characteristics (region, number, side, and size) with dementia, global cognition and cognition in five separate cognitive domains was examined using logistic and linear regression analyses controlling for age, sex, race, education and time elapsed between clinical evaluation and MRI. Results: A total of 156 persons had MR infarcts: 108 with 1 infarct and 48 with multiple. Poorer cognitive function and, in particular, slower perceptual speed, were associated with infarcts characterized as cortical, multiple, bilateral or large (all p < 0.05). Multiple infarcts in multiple regions were associated with poor performance in all cognitive domains except visuospatial ability (p < 0.05). Race did not modify any of these associations. Conclusions: In this community sample, cortical and multiple infarcts in multiple regions were associated with dementia; cortical, multiple, large and bilateral infarcts were associated with lower cognition, particularly lower memory function and perceptual speed. These effects were not modified by race.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-47
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Biracial population sample
  • Cognitive function
  • Dementia
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Clinical Neurology


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