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Neuropsychologia. 2008 Oct;46(12):2888-95. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2008.05.027. Epub 2008 Jun 4.

Cortical recruitment during selective attention in multiple sclerosis: an fMRI investigation of individual differences.

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Beckman Institute & Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States.


Recent studies with multiple sclerosis (MS) participants have provided evidence for cortical reorganization. Greater recruitment of task-related areas and additional brain regions are thought to play an adaptive role in the performance of cognitive tasks. In this study, we compared cortical circuitry recruited by MS patients and controls during a selective attention task that requires both focusing attention on task-relevant information and ignoring or inhibiting task-irrelevant information. Despite comparable behavioral performance, MS patients demonstrated increased neural recruitment of task-related areas along with additional activation of the prefrontal cortices. However, this additional activation was associated with poor behavioral performance, thereby providing evidence against compensatory brain reorganization. Future studies specifically investigating the nature of additional activation seen in MS patients in a wider variety of cognitive tasks would provide insight into the specific cognitive decline in MS.

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