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More MS news articles for July 2003

Cognitive performance and MR markers of cerebral injury in cognitively impaired MS patients

Neurology 2003;60:1793-1798
C. Christodoulou, PhD, L. B. Krupp, MD, Z. Liang, PhD, W. Huang, PhD, P. Melville, RN, C. Roque, MD, W. F. Scherl, MS, T. Morgan, BA, W. S. MacAllister, PhD, L. Li, PhD, L. A. Tudorica, PhD, X. Li, PhD, P. Roche, DO and R. Peyster, MD
Departments of Neurology (Drs. Christodoulou, Krupp, MacAllister, and Peyster, P. Melville, W.F. Scherl, and T. Morgan), Radiology (Drs. Liang, Huang, Roque, L. Li, Tudorica, X. Li, Roche, and Peyster), Psychology (Dr. Krupp), Computer Science (Dr. Liang), and Neurosurgery (Dr. Roque), State University of New York at Stony Brook


To relate neuropsychological performance to measures of cerebral injury in persons with MS selected for cognitive impairment.


Participants were 37 individuals with relapsing–remitting (59.5%) and secondary progressive (40.5%) MS.

They were tested at baseline as part of a clinical trial to enhance cognition with an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor.

Eligibility criteria included at least mild cognitive impairment on a verbal learning and memory task.

A modified Brief Repeatable Battery of Neuropsychological Tests formed the core of the behavioral protocol.

Neuroimaging measures were central (ventricular) cerebral atrophy, lesion volume, and ratios of N -acetyl aspartate (NAA) to both creatine and choline.


A clear, consistent relation was found between cognitive and MR measures.

Among neuroimaging measures, central atrophy displayed the highest correlations with cognition, accounting for approximately half the variance in overall cognitive performance.

NAA ratios in right hemisphere sites displayed larger correlations than those on the left.

Multiple regression models combining the MR measures accounted for well over half the variance in overall cognitive performance.

The Symbol Digit Modalities Test was the neuropsychological task most strongly associated with the neuroimaging variables.


If a strong and stable association can be firmly established between cognitive and MR variables in appropriate subsets of MS patients, it might aid in the investigation of interventions to enhance cognition and modify the course of the disease.