Coronary heart disease is associated with regional grey matter volume loss: implications for cognitive function and behaviour
Coronary heart disease (CHD) has been associated with impaired cognition, but the mechanisms underlying these changes remain unclear. We designed this study to determine whether adults with CHD show regional brain losses of grey matter volume relative to controls. We used statistical parametric mapping (SPM5) to determine regional changes in grey matter volume of T 1-weighted magnetic resonance images of 11 adults with prior history of myocardial infarction relative to seven healthy controls. All analyses were adjusted for total grey and white matter volume, age, sex and handedness. CHD participants showed a loss of grey matter volume in the left medial frontal lobe (including the cingulate), precentral and postcentral cortex, right temporal lobe and left middle temporal gyrus, and left precuneus and posterior cingulate. CHD is associated with loss of grey matter in various brain regions, including some that play a significant role in cognitive function and behaviour. The underlying causes of these regional brain changes remain to be determined.