MR imaging and cognitive correlates of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients with cerebellar symptoms

This study looked at the presence of neuroanatomical abnormalities in relapsing-remitting MS patients with cerebellar signs (RR-MSc), indicating damage to the cerebellum, and without cerebellar signs (RR-MSnc). Results showed that the RR-MSc patients had more severe cognitive damages in attention and language domains when compared to RR-MSnc and controls. Both relapsing-remitting MS groups display a similar neurodegenerative pattern in the bilateral thalami with respect to controls, confirming the involvement of the thalamus in the pathophysiological mechanisms of RR-MS. The main finding when comparing between the two relapsing-remitting MS groups was the differing incidence of grey matter abnormalities. RR-MS patients having cerebellar signs showed significant atrophies in associative cortical areas that are consistent with the reported cognitive deficits in attention and language domains. In conclusion, the cerebellar signs may define a distinct clinical subtype being characterised by a more severe and widespread cortical pathology.

Authors: Cerasa A, Valentino P, Chiriaco C

Source: J Neurol. 2012 Dec 28. [Epub ahead of print]

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