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PLoS One. 2019 Jul 17;14(7):e0219590. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0219590. eCollection 2019.

Functional correlates of cognitive dysfunction in clinically isolated syndromes.

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Department of Medicine and Radiology, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.
Department of Psychology, MIND Institute, and Center for Mind and Brain, University of California, Davis, Davis, California, United States of America.
Department of Neurosciences, Central Clinical School, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.


Cognitive dysfunction can be identified in patients with clinically isolated syndromes suggestive of multiple sclerosis using ocular motor testing. This study aimed to identify the functional neural correlates of cognitive dysfunction in patients with clinically isolated syndrome using MRI. Eighteen patients with clinically isolated syndrome and 17 healthy controls were recruited. Subjects underwent standard neurological and neuropsychological testing. Subjects also underwent functional MRI (fMRI) during a cognitive ocular motor task, involving pro-saccade (direct gaze towards target) and anti-saccade (direct gaze away from target) trials. Ocular motor performance variables (averaged response time and error rate) were calculated for each subject. Patients showed a trend towards a greater rate of anti-saccade errors (p = 0.09) compared to controls. Compared to controls, patients exhibited increased activation in the right postcentral, right supramarginal gyrus, and the right parietal operculum during the anti-saccade>pro-saccade contrast. This study demonstrated that changes in functional organisation of cognitive brain networks is associated with subtle cognitive changes in patients with clinically isolated syndrome.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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