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White matter tract abnormalities are associated with cognitive dysfunction in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. - Multiple sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England)
While our knowledge of white matter (WM) pathology underlying cognitive impairment in relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) is increasing, equivalent understanding in those with secondary progressive (SP) MS lags behind.The aim of this study is to examine whether the extent and severity of WM tract damage differ between cognitively impaired (CI) and cognitively preserved (CP) secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) patients.Conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and diffusion MRI were acquired from 30 SPMS patients and 32 healthy controls (HC). Cognitive domains commonly affected in MS patients were assessed. Linear regression was used to predict cognition. Diffusion measures were compared between groups using tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS).A total of 12 patients were classified as CI, and processing speed was the most commonly affected domain. The final regression model including demographic variables and radial diffusivity explained the greatest variance of cognitive performance (R(2)â€‰=â€‰0.48, pâ€‰=â€‰0.002). SPMS patients showed widespread loss of WM integrity throughout the WM skeleton when compared with HC. When compared with CP patients, CI patients showed more extensive and severe damage of several WM tracts, including the fornix, superior longitudinal fasciculus and forceps major.Loss of WM integrity assessed using TBSS helps to explain cognitive decline in SPMS patients.Â© The Author(s), 2016.
Motor network efficiency and disability in multiple sclerosis. - Neurology
To develop a composite MRI-based measure of motor network integrity, and determine if it explains disability better than conventional MRI measures in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).Tract density imaging and constrained spherical deconvolution tractography were used to identify motor network connections in 22 controls. Fractional anisotropy (FA), magnetization transfer ratio (MTR), and normalized volume were computed in each tract in 71 people with relapse onset MS. Principal component analysis was used to distill the FA, MTR, and tract volume data into a single metric for each tract, which in turn was used to compute a composite measure of motor network efficiency (composite NE) using graph theory. Associations were investigated between the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) and the following MRI measures: composite motor NE, NE calculated using FA alone, FA averaged in the combined motor network tracts, brain T2 lesion volume, brain parenchymal fraction, normal-appearing white matter MTR, and cervical cord cross-sectional area.In univariable analysis, composite motor NE explained 58% of the variation in EDSS in the whole MS group, more than twice that of the other MRI measures investigated. In a multivariable regression model, only composite NE and disease duration were independently associated with EDSS.A composite MRI measure of motor NE was able to predict disability substantially better than conventional non-network-based MRI measures.Â© 2015 American Academy of Neurology.
A longitudinal study of cortical grey matter lesion subtypes in relapse-onset multiple sclerosis. - Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry
Cortical grey matter (GM) lesions are common in multiple sclerosis (MS), but little is known about their temporal evolution. We investigated this in people with relapsing-remitting (RR) and secondary progressive (SP) MS.27 people with RRMS, and 22 with SPMS were included in this study. Phase-sensitive inversion recovery scans were acquired on 2 occasions. Cortical GM lesions were classified as intracortical (IC, only involving GM) and leucocortical (LC, mixed GM-white matter (WM)); WM lesions touching the cortex as juxtacortical (JC). On follow-up scans, new IC, LC and JC lesions were identified, and any change in classification of lesions previously observed was noted. WM lesion counts in the whole brain were assessed on PD/T2-weighted scans.Over a mean (SD) of 21.0 (5.8) months, the number of new IC lesions per person per year was greater in SPMS (1.6 (1.9)) than RRMS (0.8 (1.9)) (Mann-Whitney p=0.039). All new LC lesions arose from previously seen IC lesions (SPMS 1.4 (1.8) per person per year, and RRMS 1.1 (1.0)), and none arose de novo, or from previously seen JC lesions. Changes in cortical GM (either new IC or IC converting to LC) lesion counts did not correlate with the changes in WM lesion counts.New cortical GM lesions rarely arise from the WM and the rate of new IC lesion formation is not closely linked with WM lesion accrual. IC lesion formation appears to be more common in SPMS than RRMS.Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.
Characteristics of lesional and extra-lesional cortical grey matter in relapsing-remitting and secondary progressive multiple sclerosis: A magnetisation transfer and diffusion tensor imaging study. - Multiple sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England)
In multiple sclerosis (MS), diffusion tensor and magnetisation transfer imaging are both abnormal in lesional and extra-lesional cortical grey matter, but differences between clinical subtypes and associations with clinical outcomes have only been partly assessed.To compare mean diffusivity, fractional anisotropy and magnetisation transfer ratio (MTR) in cortical grey matter lesions (detected using phase-sensitive inversion recovery (PSIR) imaging) and extra-lesional cortical grey matter, and assess associations with disability in relapse-onset MS.Seventy-two people with MS (46 relapsing-remitting (RR), 26 secondary progressive (SP)) and 36 healthy controls were included in this study. MTR, mean diffusivity and fractional anisotropy were measured in lesional and extra-lesional cortical grey matter.Mean fractional anisotropy was higher and MTR lower in lesional compared with extra-lesional cortical grey matter. In extra-lesional cortical grey matter mean fractional anisotropy and MTR were lower, and mean diffusivity was higher in the MS group compared with controls. Mean MTR was lower and mean diffusivity was higher in lesional and extra-lesional cortical grey matter in SPMS when compared with RRMS. These differences were independent of disease duration. In multivariate analyses, MTR in extra-lesional more so than lesional cortical grey matter was associated with disability.Magnetic resonance abnormalities in lesional and extra-lesional cortical grey matter are greater in SPMS than RRMS. Changes in extra-lesional compared with lesional cortical grey matter are more consistently associated with disability.Â© The Author(s), 2015.
DIR-visible grey matter lesions and atrophy in multiple sclerosis: partners in crime? - Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry
The extent and clinical relevance of grey matter (GM) pathology in multiple sclerosis (MS) are increasingly recognised. GM pathology may present as focal lesions, which can be visualised using double inversion recovery (DIR) MRI, or as diffuse pathology, which can manifest as atrophy. It is, however, unclear whether the diffuse atrophy centres on focal lesions. This study aimed to determine if GM lesions and GM atrophy colocalise, and to assess their independent relationship with motor and cognitive deficits in MS.Eighty people with MS and 30 healthy controls underwent brain volumetric T1-weighted and DIR MRI at 3â€…T, and had a comprehensive neurological and cognitive assessment. Probability mapping of GM lesions marked on the DIR scans and voxel- based morphometry (assessing GM atrophy) were carried out. The associations of GM lesion load and GM volume with clinical scores were tested.DIR-visible GM lesions were most commonly found in the right cerebellum and most apparent in patients with primary progressive MS. Deep GM structures appeared largely free from lesions, but showed considerable atrophy, particularly in the thalamus, caudate, pallidum and putamen, and this was most apparent in secondary progressive patients with MS. Very little co-localisation of GM atrophy and lesions was seen, and this was generally confined to the cerebellum and postcentral gyrus. In both regions, GM lesions and volume independently correlated with physical disability and cognitive performance.DIR-detectable GM lesions and GM atrophy do not significantly overlap in the brain but, when they do, they independently contribute to clinical disability.Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.
Magnetization transfer ratio measures in normal-appearing white matter show periventricular gradient abnormalities in multiple sclerosis. - Brain : a journal of neurology
In multiple sclerosis, there is increasing evidence that demyelination, and neuronal damage occurs preferentially in cortical grey matter next to the outer surface of the brain. It has been suggested that this may be due to the effects of pathology outside the brain parenchyma, in particular meningeal inflammation or through cerebrospinal fluid mediated factors. White matter lesions are often located adjacent to the ventricles of the brain, suggesting the possibility of a similar outside-in pathogenesis, but an investigation of the relationship of periventricular normal-appearing white matter abnormalities with distance from the ventricles has not previously been undertaken. The present study investigates this relationship in vivo using quantitative magnetic resonance imaging and compares the abnormalities between secondary progressive and relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. Forty-three patients with relapsing remitting and 28 with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, and 38 healthy control subjects were included in this study. T1-weighted volumetric, magnetization transfer and proton density/T2-weighted scans were acquired for all subjects. From the magnetization transfer data, magnetization transfer ratio maps were prepared. White matter tissue masks were derived from SPM8 segmentations of the T1-weighted images. Normal-appearing white matter masks were generated by subtracting white matter lesions identified on the proton density/T2 scan, and a two-voxel perilesional ring, from the SPM8 derived white matter masks. White matter was divided in concentric bands, each âˆ¼1-mm thick, radiating from the ventricles toward the cortex. The first periventricular band was excluded from analysis to mitigate partial volume effects, and normal-appearing white matter and lesion magnetization transfer ratio values were then computed for the 10 bands nearest to the ventricles. Compared with controls, magnetization transfer ratio in the normal-appearing white matter bands was significantly lower in patients with multiple sclerosis. In controls, magnetization transfer ratio was highest in the band adjacent to the ventricles and declined with increasing distance from the ventricles. In the multiple sclerosis groups, relative to controls, reductions in magnetization transfer ratio were greater in the secondary progressive multiple sclerosis compared with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis group, and these reductions were greatest next to the ventricles and became smaller with distance from them. White matter lesion magnetization transfer ratio reductions were also more apparent adjacent to the ventricle and decreased with distance from the ventricles in both the relapsing remitting and secondary progressive multiple sclerosis groups. These findings suggest that in people with multiple sclerosis, and more so in secondary progressive than relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis, tissue structural abnormalities in normal-appearing white matter and white matter lesions are greatest near the ventricles. This would be consistent with a cerebrospinal fluid or ependymal mediated pathogenesis.Â© The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cervical cord area measurement using volumetric brain magnetic resonance imaging in multiple sclerosis. - Multiple sclerosis and related disorders
In multiple sclerosis (MS), recent work suggests that cervical cord atrophy is more consistently correlated with physical disability than brain white matter lesion load and atrophy. Although spinal cord imaging has not been routinely obtained in many clinical trial and research studies, brain volumetric imaging usually has and includes the upper cervical cord.Using volumetric T1-weighted brain images, we investigated cross-sectional area measures in the uppermost cervical cord and compared them with areas at the standard C2/3 level.Using T1-weighted brain scans from 13 controls and 37 people with MS, and an active surface technique, cross-sectional area was measured over 5mm and 1mm cord segments at C2/3, below the level of odontoid peg, and 2cm and 2.5cm below the pons. Brain volume was also measured.Cord area measurements were most reliable in a 5mm segment 2.5cm below the pons (inter-rater coefficient of variation 1.5%, intraclass correlation coefficient 0.99). Cord area at this level correlated more with that at C2/3 area than with brain volume (r=0.811 with C2/3, r=0.502 with brain volume).Whereas the standard C2/3 level is often not within the field of view on brain images, the level 2.5cm below the pons usually is, and measurement at this level may be a good way to investigate upper cervical cord atrophy when only brain images are available.Copyright Â© 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Regional patterns of grey matter atrophy and magnetisation transfer ratio abnormalities in multiple sclerosis clinical subgroups: a voxel-based analysis study. - Multiple sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England)
In multiple sclerosis (MS), demyelination and neuro-axonal loss occur in the brain grey matter (GM). We used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures of GM magnetisation transfer ratio (MTR) and volume to assess the regional localisation of reduced MTR (reflecting demyelination) and atrophy (reflecting neuro-axonal loss) in relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), secondary progressive MS (SPMS) and primary progressive MS (PPMS).A total of 98 people with MS (51 RRMS, 28 SPMS, 19 PPMS) and 29 controls had T1-weighted volumetric and magnetisation transfer scans. SPM8 was used to undertake voxel-based analysis (VBA) of GM tissue volumes and MTR. MS subgroups were compared with controls, adjusting for age and gender. A voxel-by-voxel basis correlation analysis between MTR and volume within each subject group was performed, using biological parametric mapping.MTR reduction was more extensive than atrophy. RRMS and SPMS patients showed proportionately more atrophy in the deep GM. SPMS and PPMS patients showed proportionately greater cortical MTR reduction. RRMS patients demonstrated the most correlation of MTR reduction and atrophy in deep GM. In SPMS and PPMS patients, there was less extensive correlation.These results suggest that in the deep GM of RRMS patients, demyelination and neuro-axonal loss may be linked, while in SPMS and PPMS patients, neuro-axonal loss and demyelination may occur mostly independently.Â© The Author(s), 2014.
The grey matter correlates of impaired decision-making in multiple sclerosis. - Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry
People with multiple sclerosis (MS) have difficulties with decision-making but it is unclear if this is due to changes in impulsivity, risk taking, deliberation or risk adjustment, and how this relates to brain pathology.We assessed these aspects of decision-making in 105 people with MS and 43 healthy controls. We used a novel diffusion MRI method, diffusion orientational complexity (DOC), as an index of grey matter pathology in regions associated with decision-making and also measured grey matter tissue volumes and white matter lesion volumes.People with MS showed less adjustment to risk and slower decision-making than controls. Moreover, impaired decision-making correlated with reduced executive function, memory and processing speed. Decision-making impairments were most prevalent in people with secondary progressive MS. They were seen in patients with cognitive impairment and those without cognitive impairment. On diffusion MRI, people with MS showed DOC changes in all regions except the occipital cortex, relative to controls. Risk adjustment correlated with DOC in the hippocampi and deliberation time with DOC in the medial prefrontal, middle frontal gyrus, anterior cingulate and caudate parcellations and with white matter lesion volumes.These data clarify the features of decision-making deficits in MS, and provide the first evidence that they relate to grey and white matter abnormalities seen using MRI.Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.
Investigation of outer cortical magnetisation transfer ratio abnormalities in multiple sclerosis clinical subgroups. - Multiple sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England)
Pathological abnormalities including demyelination and neuronal loss are reported in the outer cortex in multiple sclerosis (MS).We investigated for in vivo evidence of outer cortical abnormalities by measuring the magnetisation transfer ratio (MTR) in MS patients of different subgroups.Forty-four relapsing-remitting (RR) (mean age 41.9 years, median Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) 2.0), 25 secondary progressive (SP) (54.1 years, EDSS 6.5) and 19 primary progressive (PP) (53.1 years, EDSS 6.0) MS patients and 35 healthy control subjects (mean age 39.2 years) were studied. Three-dimensional (3D) 1Ã—1Ã—1mm(3) T1-weighted images and MTR data were acquired. The cortex was segmented, then subdivided into outer and inner bands, and MTR values were calculated for each band.In a pairwise analysis, mean outer cortical MTR was lower than mean inner cortical MTR in all MS groups and controls (p<0.001). Compared with controls, outer cortical MTR was decreased in SPMS (p<0.001) and RRMS (p<0.01), but not PPMS. Outer cortical MTR was lower in SPMS than PPMS (p<0.01) and RRMS (p<0.01).Lower outer than inner cortical MTR in healthy controls may reflect differences in myelin content. The lowest outer cortical MTR was seen in SPMS and is consistent with more extensive outer cortical (including subpial) pathology, such as demyelination and neuronal loss, as observed in post-mortem studies of SPMS patients.Â© The Author(s) 2014.
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