Introduction: Post-stroke patients are at high risk of developing cognitive decline. Previous studies have examined only limited magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) parameters for prediction of cognitive status following stroke
Aim: To determine radiological markers associated with different cognitive domains in post-stroke patients.
Materials and Methods: Patients from the TABASCO (Tel-Aviv Brain Acute Stroke Cohort), a prospective cohort of first-ever mild-moderate ischemic stroke patients, were Included (N=141). All patients underwent a 3T MRI and were cognitively assessed at admission and 2 later. Multiple regression models were used to assess which of the imaging measures best associated with cognitive scores 2 years after the index event.
Results: After controlling for both age and education, the comparisons between cognitively intact and impaired patients revealed significant differences between the two groups in relative CSF volume, white matter lesion (WML) load and white matter microstructural integrity, reflected as mean diffusivity (MD), radial diffusivity (Dr) and axial diffusivity (Da) values (p’s<0.05). Multiple regression analyses demonstrated the significant role of hippocampi MD to serve as a common predictor for all three cognitive scores. Relative WML load significantly contributed to the global score and executive function.
Discussion: Our results highlight the role of hippocampal MD and WML load as markers for cognitive performances. We suggest that these imaging markers best demonstrated "brain intergrity"