Introduction: Cerebral small-vessel disease (SVD) represents the most frequent type of vascular brain lesions, often coexisting with Alzheimer disease (AD). By quantifying white matter hyperintensities (WMH) and hippocampal and parietal atrophy, we aimed to describe the prevalence and severity of SVD among older adults with normal cognition (NC), mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and probable AD and to describe associated risk factors. Methods: This study included 105 older adults evaluated with magnetic resonance imaging and clinical and neuropsychological tests. We used the Fazekas scale (FS) for quantification of WMH, the Scheltens scale (SS) for hippocampal atrophy, and the Koedam scale (KS) for parietal atrophy. Logistic regression models were performed to determine the association between FS, SS, and KS scores and the presence of NC, MCI, or probable AD. Results: Compared to NC subjects, SVD was more prevalent in MCI and probable AD subjects. After adjusting for confounding factors, logistic regression showed a positive association between higher scores on the FS and probable AD (OR = 7.6, 95% CI 2.7–20, p < 0.001). With the use of the SS and KS (OR = 4.5, 95% CI 3.5–58, p = 0.003 and OR = 8.9, 95% CI 1–72, p = 0.04, respectively), the risk also remained significant for probable AD. Conclusions: These results suggest an association between severity of vascular brain lesions and neurodegeneration.

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