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Mult Scler. 2014 Jul;20(8):1050-7. doi: 10.1177/1352458513515082. Epub 2013 Dec 10.

Functional connectivity changes within specific networks parallel the clinical evolution of multiple sclerosis.

Author information

1
Neuroimaging Laboratory, Santa Lucia Foundation, Italy School of Cognitive Psychotherapy, Italy.
2
Department of Neuroscience, University of Rome 'Tor Vergata', Italy.
3
Department of Neuroscience, University of Rome 'Tor Vergata', Italy Department of Clinical and Behavioural Neurology, Santa Lucia Foundation, Italy.
4
Clinical Imaging Sciences Centre, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, UK.
5
Neuroimaging Laboratory, Santa Lucia Foundation, Italy m.bozzali@hsantalucia.it.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In multiple sclerosis (MS), the location of focal lesions does not always correlate with clinical symptoms, suggesting disconnection as a major pathophysiological mechanism. Resting-state (RS) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is believed to reflect brain functional connectivity (FC) within specific neuronal networks.

OBJECTIVE:

RS-fMRI was used to investigate changes in FC within two critical networks for the understanding of MS disabilities, namely, the sensory-motor network (SMN) and the default-mode network (DMN), respectively, implicated in sensory-motor and cognitive functions.

METHODS:

Thirty-four relapsing-remitting (RR), 14 secondary progressive (SP) MS patients and 25 healthy controls underwent MRI at 3T, including conventional images, T1-weighted volumes, and RS-fMRI sequences. Independent component analysis (ICA) was employed to extract maps of the relevant RS networks for every participant. Group analyses were performed to assess changes in FC within the SMN and DMN in the two MS phenotypes.

RESULTS:

Increased FC was found in both networks of MS patients. Interestingly, specific changes in either direction were observed also between RR and SP MS groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

FC changes seem to parallel patients' clinical state and capability of compensating for the severity of clinical/cognitive disabilities.

KEYWORDS:

Relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis; functional connectivity; resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging; secondary progressive multiple sclerosis

PMID:
24326671
DOI:
10.1177/1352458513515082
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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