Emerging evidence suggests that enlarged perivascular spaces (ePVS) may be a clinically significant neuroimaging marker of global cognitive function related to cerebral small vessel disease (cSVD). We tested this possibility by assessing the relationship between ePVS and both a standardized measure of global cognitive function, the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), and an established marker of cSVD, white matter hyperintensity volume (WMH) volume. One hundred and eleven community-dwelling older adults (56–86) underwent neuroimaging and MoCA testing. Quantification of region-specific ePVS burden was performed using a previously validated visual rating method and WMH volumes were computed using the standard ADNI pipeline. Separate linear regression models were run with ePVS as a predictor of MoCA scores and whole brain WMH volume. Results indicated a negative association between MoCA scores and both total ePVS counts (P ≤ 0.001) and centrum semiovale ePVS counts (P ≤ 0.001), after controlling for other relevant cSVD variables. Further, WMH volumes were positively associated with total ePVS (P = 0.010), basal ganglia ePVS (P ≤ 0.001), and centrum semiovale ePVS (P = 0.027). Our results suggest that ePVS burden, particularly in the centrum semiovale, may be a clinically significant neuroimaging marker of global cognitive dysfunction related to cSVD.

Document Type


Publication Date


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)