Edinburgh Imaging

MSc projects 1617 001

Evolution & associations of global atrophy & white matter hyperintensities in older adults with normal cognition or mild cognitive impairment.

Abstract:
  • Background: This is an exploratory project investigating the evolution and associations of white matter hyperintensities (WMH) and global atrophy in elderly adults with normal cognition or with mild cognitive impairment, using data from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI). The objectives of this project are to 1) conduct a literature review of the publications that assessed global (whole-brain) atrophy and WMH progression using the ADNI data 2) assess the progression of WMH and global (whole-brain) atrophy on 3 consecutive MRI scans of 20 ADNI participants 3) explore associations of WMH and global/whole-brain atrophy with cardiovascular risk factors, endocrine-metabolic risk factors, family history of dementia, and family history of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
  • Methods: A systematic search of literature was conducted on PubMed© and Web of Knowledge©. Articles were included if WMH and whole-brain atrophy were investigated with clinical outcomes using the ADNI database. WMH volume and annual whole-brain atrophy, defined as the decrease in percentage of brain tissue volume in the ICV, were calculated from 3 structural MRI scans of 20 ADNI participants. Inter-observer and intra-observer reliability of the WMH and ICV segmentations were calculated. Relationship of WMH and whole-brain atrophy with cardiovascular risk factors, endocrine-metabolic risk factors, family history of dementia, and family history of AD were visually represented using graphs instead of a statistical analysis.
  • Results: A total of 17 articles were included in the review. Progression of WMH and global atrophy were variable with no clear pattern. There was also an overlap in WMH and brain tissue volumes between those with and without cardiovascular risk factors, endocrine-metabolic risk factors, family history of dementia, and family history of AD.
  • Conclusion: No clear conclusions and clinical implications can be drawn given the relatively small sample size and lack of statistical analyses. Future work should consider using a bigger sample size, statistical analyses, and a longer follow-up period.
Project type:
  • Analysis of existing data
  • Systematic review
Imaging keywords:
Application / disease keywords:
  • Ageing
  • Cognitive impairment
  • White matter hyperintensities
Supervisor(s):
Programme:
Year:
  • 16-17