Navigation Links
'Harmless' condition shown to alter brain function in elderly
Date:8/12/2012

OAK BROOK, Ill. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic say a common condition called leukoaraiosis, made up of tiny areas in the brain that have been deprived of oxygen and appear as bright white dots on MRI scans, is not a harmless part of the aging process, but rather a disease that alters brain function in the elderly. Results of their study are published online in the journal Radiology.

"There has been a lot of controversy over these commonly identified abnormalities on MRI scans and their clinical impact," said Kirk M. Welker, M.D., assistant professor of radiology in the College of Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "In the past, leukoaraiosis has been considered a benign part of the aging process, like gray hair and wrinkles."

Leukoaraiosis, also called small vessel ischemia and often referred to as unidentified bright objects or "UBOs" on brain scans, is a condition in which diseased blood vessels lead to small areas of damage in the white matter of the brain. The lesions are common in the brains of people over the age of 60, although the amount of disease varies among individuals.

"We know that aging is a risk factor for leukoaraiosis, and we suspect that high blood pressure may also play a role," Dr. Welker said.

Dr. Welker's team performed functional MRI (fMRI) scans on cognitively normal elderly participants recruited from the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging between 2006 and 2010. In 18 participants, the amount of leukoaraiosis was a moderate 25 milliliters, and in 18 age-matched control participants, the amount of disease was less than five milliliters.

The patients were imaged in an MRI scanner as they performed a semantic decision task by identifying word pairs and a visual perception task that involved differentiating straight from diagonal lines. fMRI is a special type of magnetic resonance imaging that measures metabolic changes in an active part of the brain.

Although both groups performed the tasks with similar success, the fMRI scans revealed different brain activation patterns between the two groups. Compared to members of the control group, patients with moderate levels of leukoaraiosis had atypical activation patterns, including decreased activation in areas of the brain involved in language processing during the semantic decision task and increased activation in the visual-spatial areas of the brain during the visual perception task.

"Different systems of the brain respond differently to disease," Dr. Welker explained. "White matter damage affects connections within the brain's language network, which leads to an overall reduction in network activity."

He pointed out that identifying leukoaraiosis in the brain is important, both for individual patients undergoing brain mapping for surgery or other treatments and for research studies.

For improved neurological health, Dr. Welker said efforts should be taken to prevent leukoaraiosis from occurring.

"Our results add to a growing body of evidence that this is a disease we need to pay attention to," he said. "Leukoaraiosis is not a benign manifestation of aging but an important pathologic condition that alters brain function."


'/>"/>
Contact: Linda Brooks
lbrooks@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Food hypersensitivity and otolaryngologic conditions in young children
2. Common Skin Cancer a Chronic Condition, Study Says
3. Study finds people have difficulty controlling multiple chronic conditions
4. More Drug Trials Needed for Conditions Affecting Kids: Review
5. Blood condition is highly predictive of graft failure in pediatric kidney transplant
6. Eczema Non-Profit Seeks To Shine New Light On Overlooked Condition
7. Under Right Conditions, Fertility Treatment Can Equal Natural Conception Rates: Study
8. Obesity May Raise Odds for Painful Leg Condition
9. Eye color may indicate risk for serious skin conditions
10. New embryonic stem cell line will aid research on nerve condition
11. Bile - not acid - is bad guy in triggering precancerous condition associated with reflux disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Fisher House Foundation Chairman and ... J. Lee, Nevada Military Support Alliance president Scott Bensing, and Peggy Kearns Director, VA ... Southern Nevada Healthcare System. This will be the first Fisher House in Nevada, ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... ... Vail knee specialist Robert LaPrade, MD, PhD was named one of ... of physicians establishing, leading and partnering with ambulatory surgery centers across the United States. ... also known as an ASC, is a modern health care facility focused on providing ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Donor Network West, the organ procurement organization that ... partnership with San Ramon Regional Medical Center. Under the collaboration, the first of its ... to accommodate a more certain time frame for donor families for the recovery of ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... Land, TX (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 ... ... families of southwest Houston and surrounding communities by continuing it’s commitment to act ... Bend Family Promise. The organization works closely with area homeless families to fulfill ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... High-Cost Drug Categories: Strategies for Health Plans and PBMs,” an upcoming Feb. 24 ... maintain affordability and access in big-dollar therapeutic categories, such as the $1,000-per-pill hepatitis ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... -- - Cardiac Marker Diagnostic Testing ... Cancer Therapy. - European Point of Care Diagnostic ... - Key Diagnostic Testing Markets. - Molecular Diagnostics ... Testing. - Molecular Diagnostics in Infectious Disease Testing. ... Products World Markets. - Point of Care Diagnostic ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... 2016 Laboratory glassware and plasticware ... These may range from microscope slides to large storage ... from borosilicate glass because of its low weight and ... hand, started gaining popularity over the past decade when ... glass with plastic in several applications due to its ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... 11, 2016   Health 2.0 , the premiere ... technologies, announced today " 10 Year Global Retrospective ", ... over the past ten years.   ... Health 2.0 has served as the preeminent thought-leader in ... thousands of technologies, companies, innovators, and patient-activists through an ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: