Cognitive impairment in cerebral small vessel disease

Cerebrovascular diseases and particularly cerebral small vessel disease are common causes of cognitive impairment and progressive neurocognitive disorders. Previous research has focused on dementia as the end-state of the disease, while the early mechanisms of cognitive decline are not well known. The aim of this study is to extend scientific knowledge on risk factors, diagnostic tools and determinants of progressive brain changes, cognitive impairment and behavioral symptoms as well as protective factors related to functional impairment in small vessel disease. The investigations are carried out at the Helsinki University Hospital and University of Helsinki as part of two longitudinal studies (Helsinki SVD Study and FinnDiane MRI Study), which both include extensive neuropsychological and clinical evaluations, and magnetic resonance imaging of the brain. The project leverages digitalized neuropsychological tests and novel image analysis methods that enable more accurate quantification of brain changes than before.

Funding: Academy of Finland, Helsinki University Hospital (TYH), Päivikki and Sakari Sohlberg Foundation


Hanna Jokinen-Salmela (PI), University Lecturer, Clinical Reseacher
Anna Arola, Doctoral Researcher
Hanna Laakso, Doctoral Researcher
Iiris Kyläheiko, Doctoral Researcher