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J Neuroimaging. 2017 Jan;27(1):33-36. doi: 10.1111/jon.12378. Epub 2016 Jul 28.

The Effect of Glatiramer Acetate on Spinal Cord Volume in Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis.

Singhal T1,2,3, Tauhid S1,2, Hurwitz S4, Neema M1,2, Bakshi R1,5,2,3.

Author information

1
Departments of Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
2
Laboratory for Neuroimaging Research, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
3
Partners MS Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
4
Departments of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
5
Departments of Radiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Spinal cord atrophy occurs early in the multiple sclerosis (MS) disease course, is closely related to physical disability, and is a putative neuroprotective therapeutic outcome measure.

OBJECTIVE:

This pilot study explored glatiramer acetate (GA)'s effect on spinal cord volume in patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS).

METHODS:

Fifteen patients receiving daily subcutaneous GA were prospectively followed. At baseline, age was 43.6 ± 7.4 years, Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score was 1.4 ± 1.5, timed 25-foot walk (T25FW) was 4.7 ± 1.1 seconds, and time on GA was 2.1 ± 3.1 years. Healthy controls (n = 10) with similar age and sex to the patients were also enrolled. The spinal cord was imaged at baseline and one year later with 3T magnetic resonance imaging. An active surface method measured the C1-C7 spinal cord volume from which we calculated the normalized area.

RESULTS:

The spinal cord area showed no significant change in the MS group over one year (P = .19). Furthermore, the change in the spinal cord area did not differ significantly between the MS and control groups over one year (P = .26). In the MS group, the EDSS score (P = .44) and T25FW (P = .92) did not change significantly on-study.

CONCLUSION:

In this pilot study of RRMS, GA therapy was not associated with any ongoing spinal cord atrophy or any difference in the one-year rate of spinal cord area change versus healthy controls. These results paralleled the lack of clinical worsening and may reflect a treatment effect of GA. Further studies are needed to confirm these preliminary findings.

KEYWORDS:

MRI; glatiramer acetate; multiple sclerosis; spinal cord atrophy

PMID:
27466943
PMCID:
PMC5248648
DOI:
10.1111/jon.12378
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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