Post-stroke cognition at 1 and 3 years is influenced by the location of white matter hyperintensities in patients with lacunar stroke

Maria Del Carmen Valdés Hernández, Tara Grimsley-Moore, Francesca M Chappell, Michael J. Thrippleton, Paul A Armitage, Eleni Sakka, Stephen Makin, Joanna M Wardlaw

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Lacunar strokes are a common type of ischemic stroke. They are known to have long-term cognitive deficits, but the influencing factors are still largely unknown. We investigated if the location of the index lacunar stroke or regional WMH and their change at 1 year could predict the cognitive performance at 1 and 3 years post-stroke in lacunar stroke patients. We used lacunar lesion location and WMH-segmented data from 118 patients, mean age 64.9 who had a brain MRI scan soon after presenting with symptoms, of which 88 had a repeated scan 12 months later. Premorbid intelligence (National Adult Reading Test) and current intelligence [Addenbrooke's Cognitive Exam-Revised (ACE-R)] were measured at 1, 12, and 36 months after the stroke. ANCOVA analyses adjusting for baseline cognition/premorbid intelligence, vascular risk factors, age, sex and total baseline WMH volume found that the recent small subcortical infarcts (RSSI) in the internal/external capsule/lentiform nucleus and centrum semiovale did not predict cognitive scores at 12 and 36 months. However, RSSI location moderated voxel-based associations of WMH change from baseline to 1 year with cognitive scores at 1 and 3 years. WMH increase in the external capsule, intersection between the anterior limb of the internal and external capsules, and optical radiation, was associated with worsening of ACE-R scores 1 and 3 years post-stroke after accounting for the location of the index infarct, age and baseline cognition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number634460
Number of pages13
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


  • recent small subcortical infarct
  • lacunar
  • stroke
  • white matter hyperintensities
  • cognition


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