Dutch researcher Niels Prins has discovered that elderly people with a lot of damage to the small blood vessels in the brain have a greater chance of developing dementia or depression. The damage is visible on MRI scans as white matter lesions and infarcts of the brain.
Elderly people with serious white matter abnormalities and infarcts were found to deteriorate more quickly in their cognitive functioning than peers with fewer abnormalities. In particular, the processing of information was worse in the group with more white matter lesions and infarcts. This group also had an increased risk of developing dementia and depression.
Over a period of three years, one-third of the elderly people investigated exhibited an increase in white matter lesions. These elderly people had an increased risk of developing a stroke and the cognitive functioning deteriorated more quickly. Furthermore, a serious increase in the number of abnormalities in the white matter increased the risk of dementia and depression.
Sonja Jacobs | alfa
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