Structural brain changes and cognition in relation to markers of vascular dysfunction

Julia Miralbell, Juan José Soriano, Gabriela Spulber, Elena López-Cancio, Juan Francisco Arenillas, Núria Bargalló, Amparo Galán, Maria Teresa Barrios, Cynthia Cáceres, Maria Teresa Alzamora, Guillem Pera, Miia Kivipelto, Lars Olof Wahlund, Antoni Dávalos, Maria Mataró

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The aim was to investigate the relationship between blood markers of vascular dysfunction with brain microstructural changes and cognition. Eighty-six participants from the Barcelona-Asymptomatic Intracranial Atherosclerosis (AsIA) neuropsychology study were included. Subjects were 50-65 years old, free from dementia and without history of vascular disease. We assessed correlations of blood levels of inflammatory biomarkers (C-reactive protein [CRP] and resistin) and fibrinolysis inhibitors (plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 [PAI-1] and A-lipoprotein (Lp (a)) with fractional anisotropy (FA) measurements of diffusion tensor images (DTI), regional gray matter (GM) volumes and performance in several cognitive domains. Increasing levels of C-reactive protein and PAI-1 levels were associated with white matter (WM) integrity loss in corticosubcortical pathways and association fibers of frontal and temporal lobes, independently of age, sex and vascular risk factors. PAI-1 was also related to lower speed and visuomotor/coordination. None of the biomarkers were related to gray matter volume changes. Our findings suggest that inflammation and dysregulation of the fibrynolitic system may be involved in the pathological mechanisms underlying the WM damage seen in cerebrovascular disease and subsequent cognitive impairment. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1003.e9-1003.e17
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Fibrinolysis
  • Inflammation
  • MRI
  • Risk factors
  • White matter


Dive into the research topics of 'Structural brain changes and cognition in relation to markers of vascular dysfunction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this