Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the potential role of whole brain atrophy, hippocampal atrophy, or both, and small vessel disease/white matter lesions as mechanisms underlying the cognitive impairment associated with hypertension. METHODS: Using MRI scanning the authors determined hippocampal volumes, whole brain volumes, and location and severity of white matter lesions, using Scheltens scale, in 103 hypertensive (166 +/- 8/88 +/- 7 mm Hg, 54 female) and 51 normotensive (132 +/- 12/74 +/- 7 mm Hg, 21 female) subjects age > or = 70 years. RESULTS: Compared to normotensive subjects, older hypertensive subjects had significantly smaller whole brain volumes (887 +/- 109 vs 930 +/- 97 cm3, p = 0.02) and nonsignificantly reduced hippocampal volumes (5.39 +/- 1.60 vs 5.67 +/- 1.80 cm3, p = 0.33). Hypertensive subjects had an increased burden of periventricular lesions: bands (p = 0.03), frontal caps (p = 0.08), occipital caps (p = 0.07), and total periventricular hyperintensities (p = 0.02). They also had higher scores in subcortical areas: frontal (p = 0.04), temporal (p = 0.03), and deep white matter areas (p = 0.05). A correlation was found between whole brain volumes and systolic blood pressure (r = -0.19, p = 0.02). No correlation was seen between whole brain volumes and white matter lesion burden. CONCLUSIONS: Moderate hypertension in non-impaired older subjects is associated with smaller whole brain volume and an increased burden of subcortical and periventricular white matter lesions.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1892 - 1897


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Antihypertensive Agents, Atrophy, Blood Pressure, Brain, Cognition Disorders, Female, Hippocampus, Humans, Hypertension, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Myelin Sheath, Organ Size