Brain Science Advances


acute lacunar stroke, voxel-based morphometry, cognitive function, gray matter volume, MRI


Researchers emphasized acute lacunar stroke (ALS) patients suffer from poor social/physical outcomes, cognitive decline, and decreased quality of life. We hypothesized brain abnormalities may occur in ALS during this particular stage and may be associated with cognitive deficits upon evaluation. We investigated structural abnormalities in ALS using magnetic resonance imaging and voxel-based morphometry conducted on 28 healthy controls (HC) and 29 patients with ALS and proximal anterior circulation occlusion within 12 hours of symptom onset. Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores were used to evaluate cognitive dysfunction. Decreased gray matter (GM) in ALS vs. HC was predominantly in the superior frontal gyrus, inferior frontal gyrus, insula, superior temporal gyrus (STG), heschl gyrus, middle temporal gyrus (MTG), posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), hippocampus (HIP), and others. Positive correlation was found between GM density and MMSE scores in STG (r = 0.59, p = 0.0007), MTG (r = 0.46, p = 0.01), PCC (r = 0.42, p = 0.02), HIP (r = 0.4, p = 0.03), and medial prefrontal cortex (r = 0.5, p = 0.005). This study provided further information on pathophysiological/morphological mechanisms related to cognitive impairment in ALS and is the basis for further studies in aging-related diseases.