BMC Neurol. 2004 Jun 10;4(1):8
Ruiz Pena JL, Pinero P, Sellers G, Argente J, Casado A, Foronda J, Ucles A, Izquierdo G.
What currently appears to be irreversible axonal loss in normal appearing white matter, measured by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy is of great interest in the study of Multiple Sclerosis.
Our aim is to determine the axonal damage in normal appearing white matter measured by magnetic resonance spectroscopy and to correlate this with the functional disability measured by Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite scale, Neurological Rating Scale, Ambulation Index scale, and Expanded Disability Scale Score.
Thirty one patients (9 male and 22 female) with relapsing remitting Multiple Sclerosis and a Kurtzke Expanded Disability Scale Score of 0-5.5 were recruited from four hospitals in Andalusia, Spain and included in the study.
Magnetic resonance spectroscopy scans and neurological disability assessments were performed the same day.
A statistically significant correlation was found (r = 0.38 p<0.05) between disability (measured by Expanded Disability Scale Score) and N-Acetyl Aspartate (NAA/Cr ratio) levels in normal appearing white matter in these patients.
No correlation was found between the NAA/Cr ratio and disability measured by any of the other disability assessment scales.
There is correlation between disability (measured by Expanded Disability Scale Score) and the NAA/Cr ratio in normal appearing white matter.
The lack of correlation between the NAA/Cr ratio and the Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite score indicates that the Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite is not able to measure irreversible disability and would be more useful as a marker in stages where axonal damage is not a predominant factor.