• Dirty-Appearing White Matter in the Brain is Associated with Altered Cerebrospinal Fluid Pulsatility and Hypertension in Individuals without Neurologic Disease

      Beggs, Clive B.; Magnano, C.R.; Shepherd, Simon J.; Belov, P.; Ramasamy, D.P.; Hagemeier, J.; Zivadinov, R. (2016-02)
      BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Aging of the healthy brain is characterized by focal or nonfocal white matter (WM) signal abnormality (SA) changes, which are typically detected as leukoaraiosis (LA). Hypertension is a risk factor for WM lesion formation. This study investigated whether LA might be associated with increased cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pulsatility linked to arterial hypertension. METHODS A total of 101 individuals without neurologic diseases (53 females and 48 males) aged between 18 and 75 years underwent 3T brain MRI with cine phase contrast imaging for CSF flow estimation, after providing their informed consent. LA was defined as the presence of focal T2 WM SA changes and/or nonfocal uniform areas of signal increase termed dirty appearing white matter (DAWM). Relevant information relating to cardiovascular risk factors was also collected. RESULTS When controlled for age and hypertension, significant partial correlations were observed between: DAWM volume and: net negative flow (r = –.294, P = .014); net positive flow (NPF) (r = .406, P = .001); and peak positive velocity (r = .342, P = .004). Multiple linear regression analysis revealed DAWM volume to be significantly correlated with CSF NPF (P = .019) and hypertension (P = .007), whereas T2 WM SA volume was only significantly correlated with age (P = .002). Combined DAWM and T2 WM SA volumes were significantly related with age (P = .001) and CSF peak negative velocity (P = .041). CONCLUSIONS Rarefaction of WM leading to LA is a multifactorial process, in which formation of DAWM induced by hypertension and increased aqueductal CSF pulsatility, may play a contributory role. These two factors appear to act independently of each other in a process that is independent of age.
    • Jugular venous reflux and white matter abnormalities in Alzheimer's disease: a pilot study

      Chung, C.P.; Beggs, Clive B.; Wang, P.N.; Bergsland, N.; Shepherd, Simon J.; Cheng, C.Y.; Ramasamy, D.P.; Dwyer, Michael G.; Hu, H.H.; Zivadinov, R. (2014)
      To determine whether jugular venous reflux (JVR) is associated with cerebral white matter changes (WMCs) in individuals with Alzheimer's disease (AD), we studied 12 AD patients 24 mild cognitive impairment (MCI) patients, and 17 elderly age- and gender-matched controls. Duplex ultrasonography and 1.5T MRI scanning was applied to quantify cerebral WMCs [T2 white matter (WM) lesion and dirty-appearing-white-matter (DAWM)]. Subjects with severe JVR had more frequently hypertension (p = 0.044), more severe WMC, including increased total (p = 0.047) and periventricular DAWM volumes (p = 0.008), and a trend for increased cerebrospinal fluid volumes (p = 0.067) compared with the other groups. A significantly decreased (65.8%) periventricular DAWM volume (p = 0.01) in the JVR-positive AD individuals compared with their JVR-negative counterparts was detected. There was a trend for increased periventricular and subcortical T2 WMC lesion volumes in the JVR-positive AD individuals compared with their JVR-negative counterparts (p = 0.073). This phenomenon was not observed in either the control or MCI groups. In multiple regression analysis, the increased periventricular WMC lesion volume and decreased DAWM volume resulted in 85.7% sensitivity and 80% specificity for distinguishing between JVR-positive and JVR-negative AD patients. These JVR-WMC association patterns were not seen in the control and MCI groups. Therefore, this pilot study suggests that there may be an association between JVR and WMCs in AD patients, implying that cerebral venous outflow impairment might play a role in the dynamics of WMCs formation in AD patients, particularly in the periventricular regions. Further longitudinal studies are needed to confirm and validate our findings.