Cerebral Small Vessel Disease and Motoric Cognitive Risk Syndrome: Results from the Kerala-Einstein Study

Nan Wang, Gilles Allali, Chandrasekharan Kesavadas, Mohan L. Noone, Vayyattu G. Pradeep, Helena M. Blumen, Joe Verghese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Background: The contribution of cerebral small vessel disease to cognitive decline, especially in non-Caucasian populations, is not well established. Objective:We examined the relationship between cerebral small vessel disease and motoric cognitive risk syndrome (MCR), a recently described pre-dementia syndrome, in Indian seniors. Methods: 139 participants (mean age 66.6±5.4 y, 33.1% female) participating in the Kerala-Einstein study in Southern India were examined in a cross-sectional study. The presence of cerebral small vessel disease (lacunar infarcts and cerebral microbleeds (CMB)) and white matter hyperintensities on MRI was ascertained by raters blinded to clinical information. MCR was defined by the presence of cognitive complaints and slow gait in older adults without dementia or mobility disability. Results: Thirty-eight (27.3%) participants met MCR criteria. The overall prevalence of lacunar infarcts and CMB was 49.6% and 9.4%, respectively. Lacunar infarcts in the frontal lobe, but no other brain regions, were associated with MCR even after adjusting for vascular risk factors and presence of white matter hyperintensities (adjusted Odds Ratio (aOR): 4.67, 95% CI: 1.69-12.94). Frontal lacunar infarcts were associated with slow gait (aOR: 3.98, 95% CI: 1.46-10.79) and poor performance on memory test (α: -1.24, 95% CI: -2.42 to -0.05), but not with cognitive complaints or non-memory tests. No association of CMB was found with MCR, individual MCR criterion or cognitive tests. Conclusions: Frontal lacunar infarcts are associated with MCR in Indian seniors, perhaps, by contributing to slow gait and poor memory function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)699-707
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2 2016


  • Aging
  • cerebral small vessel diseases
  • cognition
  • frontal lobe
  • gait
  • lacunar infarct
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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