Cerebral amyloid burden is associated with white matter hyperintensity location in specific posterior white matter regions

Nick A. Weaver, Thomas Doeven, Frederik Barkhof, J. Matthijs Biesbroek, Onno N. Groeneveld, Hugo J. Kuijf, Niels D. Prins, Philip Scheltens, Charlotte E. Teunissen, Wiesje M. van der Flier, Geert Jan Biessels, TRACE-VCI study group

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White matter hyperintensities (WMHs) are a common manifestation of cerebral small vessel disease. WMHs are also frequently observed in patients with familial and sporadic Alzheimer's disease, often with a particular posterior predominance. Whether amyloid and tau pathologies are linked to WMH occurrence is still debated. We examined whether cerebral amyloid and tau burden, reflected in cerebrospinal fluid amyloid-beta 1-42 (Aβ-42) and phosphorylated tau (p-tau), are related to WMH location in a cohort of 517 memory clinic patients. Two lesion mapping techniques were performed: voxel-based analyses and region of interest-based linear regression. Voxelwise associations were found between lower Aβ-42 and parieto-occipital periventricular WMHs. Regression analyses demonstrated that lower Aβ-42 correlated with larger WMH volumes in the splenium of the corpus callosum and posterior thalamic radiation, also after controlling for markers of vascular disease. P-tau was not consistently related to WMH occurrence. Our findings indicate that cerebral amyloid burden is associated with WMHs located in specific posterior white matter regions, possibly reflecting region-specific effects of amyloid pathology on the white matter.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-234
Number of pages10
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

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