Journal List > J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc > v.52(4) > 1017633

Yi, Jung, Hahn, Lee, and Lim: A Correlation Analysis between the Location of White Matter Hyperintensities and Cognitive Functions in Korean Vascular Depression Patients



The aim of this study is to investigate correlation between the location of white matter hyperintensities (WMH) and neurocognitive dysfunction in non-demented Korean vascular depression patients.


A total of 148 subjects diagnosed with first major depressive episode after the age of 60 were included in this study. Subjects were divided into the vascular depression group (n=83) and the non-vascular depression group (n=65) according to the degree of WMH. The degree and location of WMH on T2-weighted images were measured using the Scheltens scale. In addition, several clinical features, including cognitive functions and depression severities, were evaluated. Correlation analysis was performed for examination of the relationships between the location of WMH and neuropsychological functions.


Capsular frontal periventricular hyperintensities showed correlation with poorer performance of the word list memory test, constructional recall test, and trail making test A and B. Lateral ventricular hyperintensities showed correlation with poorer performance of verbal fluency test, word list recognition test, and trail making test B. Deep WMH, especially parietal and occipital lesions, showed an association with poorer performance on trail making test B. In addition, deep WMH, but not periventricular WMH, showed an association with Hamilton Depression Scale score.


Our results suggest that subjects with vascular depression showed significantly poorer performance on neurocognitive tests than those with non-vascular depression. In addition, WMH, depending on their locations, showed different correlations according to details of cognitive dysfunction and severity of depressive symptoms.

Figures and Tables

Table 1
Visual rating of signal hyperintensities

Semiquantative rating of signal hyperintensities in separate regions, with the range of the scale, between brackets. n: Number or lesions, na: No abnormalities, WMH: white matter hyperintensities, BG: Gasal ganglia, ITF: Infra-tentorial foci of hyperintensities, PVH: Periventricular hyperintensities

Table 2
Demographic data and white matter hyperintensities scale of the subjects

SD: Standard deviation

Table 3
Clinical characteristics of the subjects

*: p<0.05. MMSE: Mini-Mental State Examination, SD: Standard deviation, HAM-D: Hamilton Depression Rating Scale

Table 4
Correlation analysis of white matter hyperintensities, neuropsychological function, depression severity

*: p<0.05. PVH: Periventricular hyperintensities, WMH: White matter hyperintensities, BG: Gasal ganglia, ITF: Infra-tentorial foci of hyperintensities, VFT: Verbal fluency test, BNT: Boston naming test, MMSE: Mini-Mental State Examination, WLMT: Word list memory test, WLRT1: Word list recall test, WLRT2: Word list recognition test, CPT: Constructional praxis test, CRT: Constructional recall test, TMTA: Trail making test A, TMTB: Trail making test B, HAM-D: Hamilton Depression Rating Scale


This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2012R1A1A2042339).


The authors have no financial conflicts of interest.


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