Memory in multiple sclerosis is linked to glutamate concentration in grey matter regions


Research into MS and quality of life:

This research group used both structural and metabolic brain scanning to look at glutamate levels in grey matter regions in MS patients compared to controls. They then proceeded to investigate if there was a relationship between glutamate levels in the brain and memory performance.

Eighteen patients with RRMS and 17 healthy controls underwent 1H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 3T to quantify glutamate levels in the hippocampus, thalamus, cingulate and parietal cortices. All subjects were also assessed cognitively. They found that MS patients had worse visual and verbal memory than controls.

A positive relationship was demonstrated between glutamate levels in the hippocampus, thalamus and cingulate cortex and visuospatial memory in MS patients, but not in healthy controls. Therefore, this suggests an interplay between memory and the glutamatergic systems in MS.

Authors: Muhlert N, Atzori M
Source: J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2014 Jan 15. doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2013-306662. [Epub ahead of print]
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