Information on subcortical ischaemic changes (SIC) in young hypertensive patients is scarce. We evaluated the frequency of SIC at magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the possible effect on cognition of these patients, and the role of plasma markers known as indicators of endothelial and haemostatic activation. Inclusion criteria were age <or=54 years, hypertension for at least 2 years and absence of cerebrovascular disease or other conditions possibly related to SIC. Patients with SIC at MRI and two control groups (matched for age, sex and education) of hypertensive patients without SIC and non-hypertensive healthy subjects underwent an extensive neuropsychological examination and evaluation of plasma markers. Amongst the 200 patients evaluated, 50 (25%) showed SIC at MRI. Mean age was 48.4 +/- 4.8 years. Compared with both control groups, hypertensive patients with SIC performed significantly worse in general cognition, attention, memory and executive functions. Moreover, they showed significantly more often increased levels of all plasma markers compared with healthy controls, and of von Willebrand factor (vWF) compared with both control groups (P < 0.001). In young hypertensive patients SIC are frequent, related to a worse cognitive performance and endothelial dysfunction. Our findings suggest vWF as marker of end-organ damage, underscoring the relevance of treating hypertension at younger age.
|Numero di pagine||7|
|Rivista||EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NEUROLOGY|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2007|
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