Imaging Properties of MS Lesions Correlate with Attention Deficits in Early Multiple Sclerosis


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Actes de conférence (partie): contribution originale à la littérature scientifique, publiée à l'occasion de conférences scientifiques, dans un ouvrage de compte-rendu (proceedings), ou dans l'édition spéciale d'un journal reconnu (conference proceedings).
Imaging Properties of MS Lesions Correlate with Attention Deficits in Early Multiple Sclerosis
Titre de la conférence
OHBM 2010, 16th Annual Meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping
Simioni S., Kober T., Krueger G., Shevlyakova M., Browaeys P., Annoni J.M., Du Pasquier R., Meuli R., Schluep M., Granziera C.
Barcelona, Spain, June 6-12, 2010
Statut éditorial
Date de publication
Introduction: Cognitive impairment affects 40-65% of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, often since early stages of the disease (relapsing remitting MS, RRMS). Frequently affected functions are memory, attention or executive abilities but the most sensitive measure of cognitive deficits in early MS is the information processing speed (Amato, 2008). MRI has been extensively exploited to investigate the substrate of cognitive dysfunction in MS but the underlying physiopathological mechanisms remain unclear. White matter lesion load, whole-brain atrophy and cortical lesions' number play a role but correlations are in some cases modest (Rovaris, 2006; Calabrese, 2009). In this study, we aimed at characterizing and correlating the T1 relaxation times of cortical and sub-cortical lesions with cognitive deficits detected by neuropsychological tests in a group of very early RR MS patients.
Methods: Ten female patients with very early RRMS (age: 31.6 ±4.7y; disease duration: 3.8 ±1.9y; EDSS disability score: 1.8 ±0.4) and 10 age- and gender-matched healthy volunteers (mean age: 31.2 ±5.8y) were included in the study. All participants underwent the following neuropsychological tests: Rao's Brief Repeatable Battery of Neuropsychological tests (BRB-N), Stockings of Cambridge, Trail Making Test (TMT, part A and B), Boston Naming Test, Hooper Visual Organization Test and copy of the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure. Within 2 weeks from neuropsychological assessment, participants underwent brain MRI at 3T (Magnetom Trio a Tim System, Siemens, Germany) using a 32-channel head coil. The imaging protocol included 3D sequences with 1x1x1.2 mm3 resolution and 256x256x160 matrix, except for axial 2D-FLAIR:
-DIR (T2-weighted, suppressing both WM and CSF; Pouwels, 2006)
-MPRAGE (T1-weighted; Mugler, 1991)
-MP2RAGE (T1-weighted with T1 maps; Marques, 2010)
-FLAIR SPACE (only for patient 4-10, T2-weighted; Mugler, 2001)
-2D Axial FLAIR (0.9x0.9x2.5 mm3, 256x256x44 matrix). Lesions were identified by one experienced neurologist and radiologist using all contrasts, manually contoured and assigned to regional locations (cortical or sub-cortical). Lesion number, volume and T1 relaxation time were calculated for lesions in each contrast and in a merged mask representing the union of the lesions from all contrasts. T1 relaxation times of lesions were normalized with the mean T1 value in corresponding control regions of the healthy subjects. Statistical analysis was performed using GraphPad InStat software. Cognitive scores were compared between patients and controls with paired t-tests; p values ≤ 0.05 were considered significant. Spearmann correlation tests were performed between the cognitive tests, which differed significantly between patients and controls, and lesions' i) number ii) volume iii) T1 relaxation time iv) disease duration and v) years of study.
Results: Cortical and sub-cortical lesions count, T1 values and volume are reported in Table 1 (A and B). All early RRMS patients showed cortical lesions (CLs) and the majority consisted of CLs type I (lesions with a cortical component extending to the sub-cortical tissue). The rest of cortical lesions were characterized as type II (intra-cortical lesions). No type III/IV lesions (large sub-pial lesions) were detected.
RRMS patients were slightly less educated (13.5±2.5y vs. 16.3±1.8y of study, p=0.02) than the controls.
Signs of cortical dysfunction (i.e. impaired learning, language, visuo-spatial skills or gnosis) were rare in all patients. However, patients showed on average lower scores on measures of visual attention and information processing speed (TMT-part A: p=0.01; TMT-part B: p=0.006; PASAT-included in the BRB-N: p=0.04). The T1 relaxation values of CLs type I negatively correlated with the TMT-part A score (r=0.78, p<0.01). The correlations of TMT-part B score and PASAT score with T1 relaxation time of lesions as well and the correlation between TMT-part A, TMT-part B and PASAT score with lesions' i) number ii) volume iii) disease duration and iv) years of study did not reach significance.
In order to preclude possible influences from partial volume effects on the T1 values, the correlation between lesion volume and T1 value of CLs type I was calculated; no correlation was found, suggesting that partial volume effects did not affect the statistics.
Conclusions: The present pilot study reports for the first time the presence and the T1 characteristics at 3 T of cortical lesions in very early RRMS (< 6 y disease duration). It also shows that CLS type I represents the most frequent cortical lesion type in this cohort of RRMS patients. In addition, it reveals a negative correlation between the attentional test TMT-part A and the T1 properties of cortical lesions type I. In other words, lower attention deficits are concomitant with longer T1-relaxation time in cortical lesions. In respect to this last finding, it could be speculated that long relaxation time correspond to a certain degree of tissue loss that is enough to stimulate compensatory mechanisms. This hypothesis is in line with previous fMRI studies showing functional compensatory mechanisms to help maintaining normal or sub-normal attention performances in RR MS patients (Penner, 2003).
Création de la notice
16/02/2011 11:11
Dernière modification de la notice
20/08/2019 14:08
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