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J Neurol. 2017 Mar;264(3):482-493. doi: 10.1007/s00415-016-8368-9. Epub 2016 Dec 27.

Cognitive impairment and structural brain changes in patients with clinically isolated syndrome at high risk for multiple sclerosis.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, 2nd Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and Motol University Hospital, V Úvalu 84, 150 06, Prague 5, Czech Republic.
2
International Clinical Research Center, St. Anne's University Hospital Brno, Pekarska 53, 656 91, Brno, Czech Republic.
3
Department of Radiology, 2nd Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and Motol University Hospital, V Uvalu 84, 150 06, Prague 5, Czech Republic.
4
Department of Neurology, 2nd Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and Motol University Hospital, V Úvalu 84, 150 06, Prague 5, Czech Republic. jan.laczo@lfmotol.cuni.cz.
5
International Clinical Research Center, St. Anne's University Hospital Brno, Pekarska 53, 656 91, Brno, Czech Republic. jan.laczo@lfmotol.cuni.cz.

Abstract

Patients with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), unlike those with multiple sclerosis (MS), have a selective cognitive impairment which is not consistently related to structural brain changes. Our objective was to characterize a profile of cognitive impairment and its association with structural brain changes in patients with CIS who are at high risk of developing MS. Patients with CIS at high risk for MS on interferon-beta (n = 51) and age-, gender-, and education-matched controls (n = 44) underwent comprehensive neuropsychological testing and MRI brain scan with voxel-based morphometry. The CIS group had lower cognitive performance in verbal and nonverbal memory, information processing speed/attention/working memory, and executive and visuo-spatial functions compared to controls (p ≤ 0.040). Lower cognitive performance was present in 18-37 and 14-26% of patients with CIS at high risk for MS depending on the criteria used. Brain volume was reduced predominantly in fronto-temporal regions and the thalamus in the CIS group (p ≤ 0.019). Cognitive performance was not associated with structural brain changes except for the association between worse visuo-spatial performance and lower white matter volume in the CIS group (β = 0.29; p = 0.042). Our results indicated that patients with CIS at high risk for MS may have a pattern of lower cognitive performance and regional brain atrophy similar to that found in patients with MS. Lower cognitive performance may be present in up to one-third of patients with CIS at high risk for MS, but, unlike patients with MS, variability in their cognitive performance may lead to a lack of consistent associations with structural brain changes.

KEYWORDS:

Clinically isolated syndrome; Cognition; MRI; Multiple sclerosis; Neuropsychology; Voxel-based morphometry

PMID:
28028623
DOI:
10.1007/s00415-016-8368-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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