Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep 2003 May;3(3):238-45
Bagnato F, Frank JA.
Neuroimmunology Branch, National Institutes for Neurological Disease and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Building 10, Room 5B16, 10 Center Drive MSC 1400, Bethesda, MD 20892-1400, USA.
The use of nonconventional magnetic resonance imaging techniques (eg, magnetization transfer, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and diffusion weighted imaging) allows for an accurate characterization of lesions as compared with conventional or standard approaches in demyelinating diseases.
Magnetization transfer, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and diffusion weighted imaging have revolutionized our understanding of demyelinating diseases because these techniques have been used to identify pathologic changes of normal-appearing brain tissue and characterize the differences in lesions.
Metrics derived from these methods correlate with clinical disability and provide more accurate tools for monitoring disease activity and treatment effect over time.
Quantitative T1 and T2 relaxation time maps provide additional information on demyelinating diseases, allowing for the evaluation of myelin water and distribution of water within tissues.
Finally, the measurement of central nervous system atrophy has become a valuable element in determining the course of multiple sclerosis.