There is a need to elucidate the combined influence of neurodegeneration and cerebrovascular disease (CeVD) on cognitive impairment, especially in diverse populations. Here, we evaluated 840 multiethnic individuals (mean age = 70.18) across the disease spectrum from the Epidemiology of Dementia in Singapore study. First, we determined whether a validated quantitative MRI score of mixed pathology is associated with clinical diagnosis and whether the score differed between ethnicities (Chinese, Malays, and Indians). We then evaluated whether the score was associated with multidomain cognitive impairment and if additional measures of CeVD were further associated with cognitive impairment. We found that lower quantitative MRI scores were associated with severity of clinical diagnosis and Chinese individuals had the highest quantitative MRI scores, followed by Indians and Malays. Lower quantitative MRI scores were also associated with lower performance in attention, language, visuoconstruction, visuomotor, visual, and verbal memory domains. Lastly, the presence of intracranial stenosis and cortical cerebral microinfarcts, but not cerebral microbleeds, were associated with memory performance beyond quantitative MRI scores. Taken together, our results demonstrate the utility of using multiple MRI markers of neurodegeneration and CeVD for identifying multiethnic Asians with the greatest cognitive impairment due to mixed pathology.

Alzheimer’s disease, cerebrovascular diseases, cognition, cortical cerebral microinfarcts, ethnicity, intracranial stenosis, magnetic resonance imaging, mixed dementia,
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease
Biomedical Imaging Group Rotterdam

Tan, C.H. (Chin Hong), Hilal, S, Xu, X, Vrooman, H.A, Cheng, C.-Y. (Ching-Yu), Wong, T.Y. (Tien Yin), … Chen, C. (2020). MRI Markers of Mixed Pathology and Cognitive Impairment in Multiethnic Asians. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 73(4), 1501–1509. doi:10.3233/JAD-190866