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Medial temporal lobe atrophy, white matter hyperintensities and cognitive impairment among African stroke survivors

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Rufus Akinyemi, Dr Michael FirbankORCiD, Dr Louise Allan, Professor Raj KalariaORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


BackgroundNeuroimaging features associated with vascular cognitive impairment have not been examined in sub-Saharan Africans. We determined magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features associated with cognitive impairment in a sample of Nigerian stroke survivors.MethodsStroke survivors underwent brain MRI with standardized assessment of brain volumes and visual rating of medial temporal lobe atrophy (MTA), and white matter hyperintensities (WMH) at 3 months post-stroke. Demographic, clinical and psychometric assessments of global cognitive function, executive function, mental speed and memory were related to changes in structural MRI.ResultsIn our pilot sample of 58 stroke survivors (60.1 ± 10.7 years old) MTA correlated significantly with age (r = 0.525), WMH (r = 0.461), memory (r = −0.702), executive function (r = −0.369) and general cognitive performance (r = −0.378). On univariate analysis, age >60 years (p = 0.016), low educational attainment (p < 0.001 to p < 0.003), total brain volume (p < 0.024 and p < 0.025) and MTA (p < 0.003 to p < 0.007) but not total WMH (p < 0.073, p = 0.610) were associated with cognitive outcome. In a two-step multivariate regression analysis, MTA (p < 0.035 and p < 0.016) and low educational attainment (p < 0.012 and p < 0.019) were sustained as independent statistical predictors of cognitive outcome.ConclusionsMedial temporal lobe atrophy was a significant neuroimaging predictor of early post-stroke cognitive dysfunction in the Nigerian African stroke survivors. These observations have implications for a vascular basis of MTA in older stroke survivors among sub-Saharan Africans.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Akinyemi RO, Firbank M, Ogbole GI, Allan LM, Owolabi MO, Akinyemi JO, Yusuf BP, Ogunseyinde O, Ogunniyi A, Kalaria RN

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BMC Research Notes

Year: 2015

Volume: 8

Online publication date: 30/10/2015

Acceptance date: 05/10/2015

Date deposited: 06/01/2016

ISSN (electronic): 1756-0500

Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.


DOI: 10.1186/s13104-015-1552-7


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