Vascular cognitive impairment (VCI) is caused by cerebral small vessel disease and is associated with cognitive and physical impairments in aging. Cerebral small vessel disease can lead to different types of brain damage, including myelin loss. Myelin is critical for proper brain function because it allows different brain regions to communicate with each other and intact myelin is vital for optimal human function. It is crucial for us to measure myelin loss and understand how myelin loss may be associated with cognitive and physical outcomes in older adults with VCI.
The goals of this study are to: 1) determine whether myelin loss is associated with cognitive and physical function in VCI and; 2) determine whether myelin imaging is better than other imaging techniques at assessing cognitive and physical outcomes in older adults with VCI.
The results of this study will: 1) help us understand how myelin loss affects cognitive and physical function and; 2) help us determine whether myelin imaging can be used as an additional tool to monitor disease progression and assess the efficacy of clinical intervention studies.