Posted by: Thixia | March 19, 2008

Study – evoked potentials for MS

Multimodal evoked potentials to assess the evolution of multiple sclerosis: a longitudinal study

Background:  Evoked potentials are used in the functional assessment of sensory and motor pathways.  Their usefulness in monitoring the evolution of multiple sclerosis has not been fully clarified.


The aim of this longitudinal study was to examine the usefulness of multimodal evoked potential in predicting paraclinical (abnormal) outcomes of disease severity and as a prognostic marker in multiple sclerosis.


Eighty four patients with clinically definite multiple sclerosis underwent Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) and functional system scoring at study entry and after a mean (standard deviation) follow-up of 30.5 (11.7) months.  Sensory and motor evoked potentials were obtained in all patients at study entry and at follow-up in 64 of them, and quantified according to a conventional score.
Results:  Cross-sectionally, the severity of each evoked potential score significantly correlated with the corresponding functional system (0.32<R<0.60, p<0.01, for all but follow-up visual evoked potential) and with EDSS (0.34<R<0.61; p<0.001 for all but brain stem evoked potential).  EDSS significantly correlated with global evoked potential score severity (baseline R = 0.60, follow-up R = 0.46, p<0.001).  Using longitudinal analysis, only changes in somatosensory (perception of sensory stimuli) evoked potential scores were significantly correlated with changes of sensory functional system (R = 0.34, p = 0.006). However, patients with multiple sclerosis with disability progression at follow-up had more severe baseline evoked potential scores than patients who remained stable.  Patients with severe baseline global evoked potential score (higher than the median value) had a risk of 72.5% to progress on disability at follow-up, whereas patients with multiple sclerosis with lower scores had a risk of only 36.3%.



 These results suggest that evoked potential is a good marker of the severity of nervous damage in multiple sclerosis and may have a predictive value regarding the evolution of disability.Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry

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