Background: White matter hyperintensities (WMH) increase cognitive impairment in patients with dementia. Objective: We investigated the impact of WMH on the neuropsychological profiles in patients with mild to moderate dementia. Methods: We consecutively recruited newly diagnosed patients with mild to moderate dementia across South Korea for 1 year. The participants completed neuropsychological tests, magnetic resonance imaging, and structured neurological evaluations. The patients were divided into 3 categories, i.e. minimal, moderate, and severe WMH groups, according to the proportional degree of WMH. Results: 289 patients were recruited; 140 (48.3%) for the minimal WMH group, 99 (34.2%) for the moderate group, and 50 (17.5%) for the severe group. Both advanced age and low general cognitive level were significant contributors to WMH in patients with dementia. After adjusting for age, the neuropsychological correlates of the proportional impact of WMH were frontal executive, language, and attention profiles. However, the only significant neuropsychological correlate was the recognition memory profile after adjusting for both age and general cognitive level simultaneously. Conclusion: The results suggest that the most significant neuropsychological profile impacting the burden of WMH in patients with mild to moderate dementia was the recognition memory profile, regardless of age and general cognitive function.
- Alzheimer's disease
- Neuropsychology of dementia
- Subcortical vascular dementia
- White matter hyperintensities