Posted by: Thixia | November 7, 2008

MRI Can Predict Multiple Sclerosis Progression

BOSTON — November 5, 2008 –


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans used on patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) to determine if the disease has affected gray matter in the brain can identify those at-risk for progression of disability, according to a study published early online and in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Neuroimaging.


 Rohit Bakshi, MD, Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Partners MS Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, and colleagues sought to determine if gray matter MRI measures and conventional measures of lesions and atrophy predicted clinical progression in a 4-year longitudinal study of 97 patients with MS.


 The results showed that patients with unnatural darkness of gray matter structures as seen on MRI pictures carried a higher risk for progression of physical disability.


 In addition, the researchers found that the new marker of gray matter damage showed closer correlations with patients’ clinical status than other established MRI markers of disease severity, including lesions and atrophy.


 “MRI scans obtained from patients with MS are being used to develop measures and techniques that can accurately measure the visible and hidden damage to the brain, especially in gray matter areas and can more accurately predict the course of the disease,” said Dr. Bakshi.


 As a result of the findings, MRI-based measurement of gray matter damage may be used as a surrogate marker of disease progression. Physicians may therefore be able to more accurately identify patients at risk for developing this progressive disease.


 “Gray matter MRI assessment may be able to capture neurodegenerative aspects of the disease, with more clinical relevance than derived from conventional MRI measures,” the authors wrote.



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