Structural covariance networks (SCNs) may
be an important indicator of diminished cognitive functioning in older
persons, suggested an article published in Brain Connectivity.
The decreased expression of some SCNs in the brain is associated with advancing age, whereas other networks are less affected by age, and this new study now points to the independent effects of cerebral small vessel disease on SCNs.
Jessica Foster-Dingley, Jeroen van der Grond from Leiden University Medical Center and Leiden University, the Netherlands and CAPRI-University of Antwerp, Belgium, analyzed the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of study participants aged 75-96 years who had mild loss in cognitive function. The researchers assessed the volume of white matter hyperintensities, microbleeds, and other vascular changes associated with small vessel disease. They compared this to the expression of SCNs, age, memory loss, and psychomotor speed.