Increased iron accumulation occurs in the earliest stages of demyelinating disease: an ultra-high field susceptibility mapping study in Clinically Isolated Syndrome

This study from the UK looked at the use of ultra-high field (7T) MRI to detect iron deposition in the central nervous system and to assess iron concentration in the deep grey matter of patients having a clinically isolated syndrome. They recruited 19 patients with a clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) and 20 age-matched healthy controls.

Results from this study showed significantly increased magnetic susceptibility, as assessed by MR susceptibility mapping, when compared to healthy controls, for the caudate nucleus, putamen, globus pallidus and pulvinar. This suggests that iron accumulation did occur in these regions, in the early phase of demyelinating disease. There was a trend for the change in iron content to be greater in the CIS group who went onto convert to MS within one year but this was not statistically significant, suggesting that iron changes did occur at the earlier stages of CIS disease. 13 of the CIS patients converted to MS.

This interesting study needs to be extended further to explore the relationship between deep grey matter iron accumulation and the likelihood of conversion to MS within one year as suggested by this study.

Authors: Al-Radaideh AM, Wharton SJ, Lim SY

Mult Scler. 2012 Nov 8. [Epub ahead of print]

Read the abstract


Latest MS research news

Main MS research areas

Challenges of MS research

Atacicept in multiple sclerosis: a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, phase 2 trial