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Influence of Education on Subcortical Hyperintensities and Global Cognitive Status in Vascular Dementia

  • Elizabeth M. Lane (a1), Robert H. Paul (a1), David J. Moser (a2), Thomas D. Fletcher (a1) and Ronald A. Cohen (a3)...

Abstract

Subcortical hyperintensities (SH) on neuroimaging are a prominent feature of vascular dementia (VaD) and SH severity correlates with cognitive impairment in this population. Previous studies demonstrated that SH burden accounts for a degree of the cognitive burden among VaD patients, although it remains unclear if individual factors such as cognitive reserve influence cognitive status in VaD. To address this issue, we examined 36 individuals diagnosed with probable VaD (age = 77.56; education = 12). All individuals underwent MMSE evaluations and MRI brain scans. We predicted that individuals with higher educational attainment would exhibit less cognitive difficulty despite similar levels of SH volume, compared to individuals with less educational attainment. A regression analysis revealed that greater SH volume was associated with lower scores on the MMSE. Additionally, education moderated the relationship between SH volume and MMSE score, demonstrating that individuals with higher education had higher scores on the MMSE despite similar degrees of SH burden. These results suggest that educational attainment buffers the deleterious effects of SH burden on cognitive status among VaD patients. (JINS, 2011, 17, 531–536)

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Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to: Elizabeth M. Lane, Department of Psychology, University of Missouri – Saint Louis, Saint Louis, MO 63121. E-mail: emlane@mail.umsl.edu

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Keywords

Influence of Education on Subcortical Hyperintensities and Global Cognitive Status in Vascular Dementia

  • Elizabeth M. Lane (a1), Robert H. Paul (a1), David J. Moser (a2), Thomas D. Fletcher (a1) and Ronald A. Cohen (a3)...

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