The influence of cerebral atrophy and leukoaraiosis (LA) on the degree and profile of cognitive impairment remains unclear.Design
The aim of the study was to assess neuropsychological features of cognitive performance and parameters of event-related potentials (ERP) in subjects with generalised cerebral atrophy and LA.Setting
Department of Neurology, University of Medicine.Patients and participants
Forty-two patients with LA and/or cerebral atrophy and twenty controls.Measurements and results
Neuropsychological testing (NT) included Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), Auditory Verbal Learning Test (AVLT) and Trail Making Test (TMT). Auditory ERPs were performed and parameters of the N2 and P3 components were compared in the patients and controls. Relationships were analysed between radiological indices of atrophy and LA, and NT and ERP results. Results of NT suggested generalised mild cognitive impairment in all the patients. P3 and N2 latencies were longer in the patients than in controls, especially in the LA subgroup. Correlations were found for indices of atrophy, AVLT and ERP parameters. There was a predominant influence of age upon ERP parameters and radiological indices.Conclusions
Cerebral atrophy and LA result in deficits in memory and attention. NT and ERP may be used as complementary methods in the assessment of cognitive impairment in patients with cerebral atrophy and LA.