Signatures of white-matter microstructure degradation during aging and its association with cognitive status
According to researchers from the University of Bristol, disruption in cortical network communication could explain cognitive decline as people age.
Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging was used to estimate white matter microstructural properties, and extensive neurocognitive testing was used to determine cognitive status. Results show that aging is associated with a decline in cognitive performance and a degradation in white matter integrity, supporting the “disconnected hypothesis” of the aging brain.
The SWITCHBOX Consortium project (www.switchbox-online.eu/) recruited Portuguese participants, with the primary exclusion criteria being inability to understand informed consent, incapacity and/or inability to attend the MRI session, dementia, and diagnosed neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.
Can white matter lesions be reversed?
Although there is no cure for white matter disease, there are treatments that can help manage your symptoms. The most common treatment is physical therapy, which can help with any balance or walking issues you may develop.
Can white matter disease be slowed?
White matter hyperintensities (WMH) are magnetic resonance imaging markers of brain white matter injury that increase with age and are linked to neuropsychiatric disorders. In people with advanced disease, WMH progression can be slowed by controlling vascular risk factors.
Can white matter in the brain regenerate?
Axons can regrow and slowly repair themselves after white matter injuries, depending on the type and extent of the injury. As long as the neuron cell bodies remain healthy, axons can regrow and slowly repair themselves.
Are white matter changes serious?
White matter disease was once thought to be a normal, age-related change, but medical experts have learned over the last decade that the presence of large areas of disease in the white matter of the brain is linked to cognitive decline and dementia in patients.
What is the life expectancy of someone with white matter disease?
People with the juvenile form of metachromatic leukodystrophy, which develops between the ages of 4 and adolescence, can live for many years after diagnosis.
Can white matter disease cause dizziness?
White matter lesions (WMLs) are commonly seen on MRI scans of elderly people and are linked to a variety of geriatric disorders, including dizziness; the cause of this link could be the disruption of neuronal networks that mediate higher vestibular cortical function.
Is there a cure for white matter disease?
Treatments: While there is no cure for white matter disease, there are treatments that can help manage the symptoms and control the risk factors associated with heart disease, which can help slow the disease’s progression.
Can white matter disease cause personality changes?
Inattention, executive dysfunction, confusion, memory loss, personality changes, depression, somnolence, lassitude, or fatigue are just a few of the symptoms that can signal the onset of white matter involvement.
Is white matter in brain bad?
White matter lesions may disrupt structural connectivity within the brain along neural “tracks,” according to the theory. These disruptions could then lead to functional deficits, which could contribute to behavioral impairments.
Does everyone have white matter in the brain?
White matter is found in the brain’s deeper tissues (subcortical), where nerve fibers (axons) are extensions of nerve cells (neurons).
What does it mean when you have white matter on a brain MRI?
White matter hyperintensities (WMH), also known as “leukoaraiosis,” are a common finding on aging people’s brain MRIs. Over time, it has become clear that the presence and extent of WMH is a radiographic marker of small cerebral vessel disease and an important predictor of life expectancy.
How do you keep white matter healthy?
Keep your blood pressure and blood sugar in check, as these can lead to white matter changes. Eat a low-fat, low-salt diet and get about 2 and a half hours of moderate-intensity exercise each week to keep your heart healthy.
Is white matter disease a normal part of aging?
Although white-matter lesions are thought to be a normal part of aging and can occur in people who don’t have dementia or other neurocognitive disorders, they have been linked to other health issues.
Does white matter disease cause memory loss?
White matter disease erodes memory by shrinking the brain, contributing to dementia more than previously thought, according to brain scientists. u201cThese findings highlight that the role of white matter disease in dementia has been under-appreciated,u201d says Dr.
Is white matter on MRI normal?
White matter hyperintensities are common in MRIs of asymptomatic people, and their prevalence rises with age, from about 10% to 20% in people around 60 years old to nearly 100% in people over 90 years old.