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Effects of serum albumin and white matter hyperintensity on cognitive function in the elderly

Authors
Son, Sang Joon; Lee, Kang Soo; Choi, Seong Hye; Hong, Chang Hyung
Department
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Sciences
Abstract
Background/Aims: Low albumin level and subcortical ischemic changes might be associated with cognitive performance in the elderly. We examined the relationship between albumin level, white matter hyperintensity(WMH) and cognitive function



Methods: We examined the relationship between albumin level, white matter hyperintensity(WMH) and cognitive function among 1038 old adults who were evaluated at the Clinical Research Center for Dementia of South Korea. Blood samples were drawn from all consenting subjects, and an albumin level was treated as a categorical variable based on quartile. Cognitive function was assessed by the Korean version of Mini Mental State Examination (K-MMSE). We also evaluated the severity of WMH as mild and sever level on brain MRI images.



Results: We could found significant differences in K-MMSE score among albumin level groups (F=6.5, p<0.001) but not between WMH mild and severe groups(t=0.2, p=0.827), independently. After a multivariable adjustment, interestingly, the interaction between albumin level and the severity of WMH was shown to be significantly associated with cognitive function(analysis of covariance, F=3.8, p=0.010). In post hoc tests, a higher K-MMSE score was rather observed in subjects with higher albumin level and severe WMH.



Conclusion: Higher albumin level with severe subcortical ischemic changes appears to be related to cognitive function in old adults.
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