We performed MRI and measured cerebral blood flow (CBF) using 123I-IMP SPECT microsphere model in twenty three right-handed patients with lacunar infarction. Twelve of 23 patients showed chronic deterioration of dysarthria and gait disturbance. The mental function of the patients was evaluated by the Mini-Mental State (MMS) examination. The area of high intensity on T2-weighted images was quantitatively analyzed in the cerebral white matter (WM), lenticular nucleus (LN) and thalamus (THA). The score of MMS was positively correlated with the local CBF in the bilateral frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital cortices (p < 0.05). Also, the area of high intensity in the left THA showed a significant negative correlation with local CBF of the bilateral frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital cortices (p < 0.001). The high intensity areas of the bilateral LN, right WM and right THA had a significant but weaker negative correlation with local CBF of some cortices. These findings suggest that thalamic lesions on the dominant side play an important role in the reduction of cortical blood flow and the deterioration of mental functions in patients with lacunar infarction.