Vol. 6 nº 3 - Jul/Aug/Set de 2012
Original Article Páginas: 175 a 179

Behavioral and psychological symptoms and hippocampal atrophy in subcortical ischaemic vascular disease

Authors Chan Tiel1,3; Felipe Kenji Sudo2; Carlos Eduardo Oliveira Alves2; Gilberto Sousa Alves2; Letice Ericeira-Valente2; Denise Madeira Moreira1,5; Jerson Laks2,4; Eliasz Engelhardt1,3


keywords: vascular dementia, executive function, neuropsychology, neuroimaging, cerebrovascular disease, neuropsychiatry.

BACKGROUND: Neuropsychiatric symptoms are common in patients with cognitive impairments, mediated by both neurodegenerative processes and cerebrovascular disease. Previous studies have reported that Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD) might correlate with severity of cognitive decline. Thus far, the impact of the association between white-matter hyperintensities (WHM) and hippocampal atrophy (HA) on the incidence of these symptoms has been less studied.
OBJECTIVE: This cross-sectional study aimed to describe the clinical profile of a sample with large extensions of WMH, examining the association between different degrees of HA and cognitive, functional, and behavioral status.
METHODS: Fifty outpatients (mean age: 76.86±8.70 years; 58% female; mean schooling: 7.44±4.69 years) with large extensions of WMH (modified-Fazekas scale=3) on MRI and different degrees of hippocampal atrophy (according to de Leon Score) underwent cognitive, functional, and behavioral assessments.
RESULTS: Patients with mild-moderate to severe HA had worse performance on the Mini-Mental State Examination, Cambridge Cognitive Examination, Clinical Dementia Rating and Pfeffer's Functional Activities Questionnaire, compared to the group with none or questionable HA. Appetite/Eating Behavior was the only cluster of neuropsychiatric symptoms associated with presence of HA in Vascular Cognitive Impairment patients.
DISCUSSION: Although HA may exhibit distinct impact on cognitive performance and functional status, it appears to have little effect on behavioral symptoms in patients with high severity WMH.


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