Contribution of cortical lesion subtypes at 7T MRI to physical and cognitive performance in MS

This study looked at the different types of cortical lesions at ultra-high field MRI and their contribution to neurological disability and cognitive performance in 34 people with RRMS, SPMS and clinically isolated syndrome.

The researchers used FLASH (fast low-angle shot) T2*-weighted images for characterisation of white matter and deep grey matter lesion volume and cortical lesion types. Patients also underwent anatomical 3T MRI for cortical thickness estimation and neuropsychological testing within 1 week of the 7T MRI.

The researchers found that type III-IV (sub-pial) cortical lesions had the strongest relationship to physical disability. Type I (leukocortical) lesions and white matter volume were significantly associated with six of 11 neuropsychological test variables and type III-IV lesions significantly correlated with four of the 11 neuropsychological tests. Interestingly, type II cortical lesions, deep grey matter lesion volume and cortical thickness metrics were less frequently associated with cognitive performance. Therefore, this study demonstrates the potential role of cortical lesions as biomarkers of cognitive and neurological status in MS.

Authors: Nielsen AS, Kinkel RP
Source: Neurology. 2013 Jul 17. [Epub ahead of print]

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