John Libbey Eurotext

Gériatrie et Psychologie Neuropsychiatrie du Vieillissement


Pathology of small cerebral arteries demonstrated by MRI: a marker of aging? Volume 9, issue 4, Décembre 2011


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Service de neuroradiologie, CHRU de Tours, UMR Inserm U 930, Tours, Université François Rabelais, Tours, Service de médecine interne gériatrique et CMRR Centre, CHRU de Tours

Brain magnetic resonance imaging frequently identifies signal abnormalities in the white matter and cerebral cortex in the elderly. They are related to a degenerative disease of the small vessels that may be of ischemic (leukoaraiosis, lacunae and infarct) or hemorrhagic (microbleeds and hematomas) origin. These lesions are part of the aging process, and compounded by vascular risk factors. They increase the occurrence frequency and severity of ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke. Their importance is also associated with the presence of cognitive and/or affective symptoms, and their impact on the occurrence and evolution of dementia remains to be evaluated. The visible consequences of this microangiopathy on MRI probably represent the focal mark of a widespread cerebrovascular disease in the brain parenchyma.