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Arch Neurol. 2007 Aug;64(8):1157-61.

Association of neocortical volume changes with cognitive deterioration in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, University of Florence, Viale Morgagni, 85-50134 Florence, Italy. mariapia.amato@unifi.it

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

We previously reported selective decreases of neocortical volumes in patients with early relapsing-remitting (RR) multiple sclerosis (MS) with mild cognitive impairment, with a good correlation between cortical volumes and cognitive measures.

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the relevance of gray matter changes over time to changes in cognition in RRMS.

DESIGN:

A longitudinal survey after 2.5 years. Each patient underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) protocol identical to that performed at baseline; cognitive performance was reassessed with the Rao Brief Repeatable Battery of Neuropsychological Tests in Multiple Sclerosis.

SETTING:

Two university MS clinics.

PATIENTS:

Of 41 patients with RRMS who participated in the original cross-sectional study, 28 were available for the follow-up evaluation (18 women; mean +/- SD age, 37.1 +/- 8.9 years; mean +/- SD MS duration, 7.3 +/- 2.9 years; mean +/- SD Expanded Disability Status Scale score, 1.8 +/- 1.5).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

We measured the percentage of brain volume changes, normalized cortical volume (NCV) changes, and normalized deep gray matter volume changes on conventional T1-weighted MRIs and changes in lesion load on T2-weighted MRIs. The number of tests failed on the Rao Brief Repeatable Battery were used to classify the patients as cognitively deteriorating or stable or improving.

RESULTS:

We identified 12 of 28 cognitively deteriorating and 16 of 28 stable or improving patients. These subgroups did not differ in the mean +/- SD percentage of brain volume changes (-2.1% +/- 1.2% vs -1.3% +/- 1.3%; P = .11), normalized deep gray matter volume changes (-2.1 +/- 2.8 mL vs -0.6 +/- 3.1 mL; P = .60), and changes in lesion load on T2-weighted MRIs (1.9 +/- 2.6 mL vs 1.6 +/- 2.3 mL; P = .73). However, NCV changes were significantly higher in deteriorating than in stable or improving patients (-43.0 +/- 18.9 mL vs -17.8 +/- 26.6 mL; P = .007). In deteriorating patients, NCV changes were correlated with performance in a verbal fluency test (r = 0.73; P < .001). In a regression model, only NCV changes were significantly associated with deteriorating cognitive performance (odds ratio, 0.8; 95% confidence interval, 0.7-0.9).

CONCLUSION:

Progressive neocortical gray matter loss is relevant to MS-associated cognitive impairment and may represent a sensitive marker of deteriorating cognitive performance in RRMS.

PMID:
17698706
DOI:
10.1001/archneur.64.8.1157
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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