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As cognitive impairment increases with age, sulcal atrophy (SA) and the enlargement of the ventricles also increase. Considering the measurements on the previously proposed visual scales, a new scale is proposed in this study that allows us to evaluate the atrophy, white matter hyperintensities (WMHs), basal ganglia infarct (BGI), and infratentorial infarct (ITI) together. Our aim of this study is to propose a practical and standardized MRI for the clinicians to be used in daily practice.
A total of 97 patients older than 60 years and diagnosed with depression or Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are included. Cranial MRI, Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), detailed neuropsychometric tests, and depression scales are applied to all patients. The SA, ventricular atrophy (VA), medial temporal lobe atrophy (MTA), periventricular WMH (PWMH), subcortical WMH (SCWMH), BGI, and ITI are scored according to the scale. The total score is also recorded.
The average age of the patients was 74.53, and the mean MMSE score was 22.7 in the degenerative group and 27.8 in the non-degenerative group. Among the patients, 50 were diagnosed with AD. All parameters significantly increased with age. In the degenerative group, SA, VA, MTA, PWMH, SCWMH, and total scores were found to be significantly higher. Sensitivities of VA, PWMH, SCWMH, and total scores, as well as both sensitivity and specificities of MTA score, were observed to be high. When they were combined, sensitivities and specificities were found to be high.
The scale is observed to be predictive in discriminating degenerative and non-degenerative processes. This discrimination is important, particularly in depressive patients complaining of forgetfulness.
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