Gray Matter Myelin Loss Linked to Severity of Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

September 22, 2014 Swedish Blogger

In a recent collaborative study completed by the Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center, University of Washington, and University of Wisconsin, doctors discovered through a more refined magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) process, the amount of myelin lost in the gray matter of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients’ brains may indicate a more severe form of the disease.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) has long been considered an inflammatory disease of the brain’s white matter, where myelin is most prevalent, however, the MRI study showed smaller amounts of myelin can also be found in gray matter, which consists mostly of nerve cells and serves as the brain’s information processing center. Study results showed that gray matter demyelination was much more advanced in patients with secondary-progressive MS and strongly correlated to the patients’ disability.
The study evaluated 14 healthy control participants, 18 relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) patients, and 12 secondary progressive MS (SPMS) patients who underwent 3-T MR imaging.
You can read the full study in the journal, Radiology: Fast Whole-Brain Three-dimensional Macromolecular Proton Fraction Mapping in Multiple Sclerosis

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