Reduced cerebral blood flow (CBF), an indicator of neurovascular processes and metabolic demands, is a common finding in Alzheimer's disease. However, little is known about what contributes to CBF deficits in individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). We examine regional CBF differences in 17 MCI compared with 21 age-matched cognitively healthy older adults. Next, we examined associations between CBF, white matter lesion (WML) volume, amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations, and cortical thickness to better understand whether altered CBF was detectable before other markers and the potential mechanistic underpinnings of CBF deficits in MCI. MCI had significantly reduced CBF, whereas cortical thickness and amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation were not affected. Reduced CBF was associated with the WML volume but not associated with other measures. Given the presumed vascular etiology of WML and relative worsening of vascular health in MCI, it may suggest CBF deficits result from early vascular as opposed to metabolic deficits in MCI. These findings may support vascular mechanisms as an underlying component of cognitive impairment.
Keywords: ALFF; Alzheimer's disease; Cerebral blood flow; Mild cognitive impairments; Vascular; White matter lesions.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.