Temporal changes in brain volume and cognition in a randomized treatment trial of vascular dementia

Joseph P. Broderick, Mary Gaskill, Atam Dhawan, Jane C. Khoury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective. To measure changes in brain and ischemic volume over time by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as part of a randomized treatment trial of vascular dementia. Methods. Participants who met criteria for vascular dementia underwent comprehensive neurological and neuropsychological testing on entrance, during, and at completion of the 1-year study. For those centers who had easily available MRI, MRI of the brain was to be performed on entry and completion of the study. Image analysis was performed on all balanced and T2-weighted MR films to determine ventricular, sulcal, ischemic, and hemispheric brain volumes. Results. Of the 105 patients who met the criteria for vascular dementia, 40 had a baseline MRI study that met protocol requirements and was of excellent image quality. The baseline ventricular volume in these 40 patients with high-quality MR correlated with most measures of cognitive and behavioral function, including the total Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Score (ADAS) (r = 0.51, P = .0024), as well as activities of daily living (r = 0.61, P = .0002). The baseline ischemic brain volume correlated well only with the gait and postural stability scale (r = 0.74, P = .009). Of the 40 participants, 25 had MRI studies at baseline and at completion of the study that were comparable and of excellent image quality. For these 25 patients, the mean ventricular volumes increased by 9% over the study year (P = .001) and the mean ischemic brain volume increased by 18% (P = .01). Temporal changes in the sulcal and nonischemic brain volume did not reach significance. None of the 14 clinical score measures changed significantly between baseline and completion of the study in these 25 patients. Conclusion. In summary, ventricular volume correlated well with cognitive measures in patients with vascular dementia and was a more sensitive marker for change during the study year than the clinical scales used in this study. This study also points out the practical limitations of brain imaging as a surrogate measure of clinical outcome in multicenter randomized treatment trials of brain disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-12
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroimaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


  • Brain volumes
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Randomized trial
  • Stroke
  • Vascular dementia


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