Reaction Time and Visible White Matter Lesions in Subcortical Ischemic Vascular Cognitive Impairment

Emma Richards, Antony Bayer, Claire Hanley, Jade E Norris, Jeremy J Tree, Andrea Tales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (SciVal)


Slowed behavioral reaction time is associated with pathological brain changes, including white matter lesions, the common clinical characteristic of subcortical ischemic vascular cognitive impairment (SIVCI). In the present study, reaction time (RT) employing Trails B of the Trail Making Test, with responses capped at 300 s, was investigated in SIVCI (n = 27) compared to cognitively healthy aging (CH) (n = 26). RT was significantly slowed in SIVCI compared to CH (Cohen's d effect size = 1.26). Furthermore, failure to complete Trails B within 300 s was also a characteristic of SIVCI although some ostensibly cognitively healthy older adults also failed to complete within this time limit. Within the SIVCI group, RT did not differ significantly with respect to whether the patients were classified as having moderate/severe or mild, periventricular white matter changes visible on their diagnostic CT/MRI scans. This, together with the high degree of overlap in RT between the two SIVCI subgroups, raises the possibility that using visible ratings scales in isolation may lead to the underestimation of disease level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)859-865
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019-IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.


  • Methodology
  • Trail Making Test
  • reaction time
  • subcortical ischemic vascular cognitive impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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