In CADASIL (Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Subcortical Infarcts and Leucoencephalopathy), a genetic model of subcortical ischemic vascular dementia (SIVD), clinical status was previously found related to cortex morphology. In the present report, alterations of cortex morphology and their links to clinical worsening were investigated in 190 CADASIL patients followed during 24.4 months. Linear models were used to test relationships between: (1) clinical worsening and changes of depth of cortical sulci and of cortical thickness; (2) alterations of cortical morphology and changes of volume of white matter hyperintensities (WMH(v)) and of lacunar lesions (LL(v)). Reduction of sulcal depth was independently associated with increased time to complete trail making test A and B (p < 0.0001 and p = 0.004) and that of cortical thickness to increased disability (modified Rankin's scale, p = 0.008), while brain atrophy was only related to global cognitive worsening (Mattis dementia rating scale, p = 0.002). The impact of volume of lacunar lesions on cortical alterations was larger than that of volume of white matter hyperintensities. Cortical alterations, mainly related to lacunar lesions, evolve parallel to clinical worsening. These results further support the eventual role of cortical alterations in subcortical ischemic vascular dementia.
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