Wednesday June 23, 2004
Boston Cure Project
A new study appearing in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry adds more weight to the argument that damage to gray matter occurs early in the course of MS and contributes to clinical disability. In this study, 38 subjects with early relapsing remitting MS (average disease duration of 1.9 years), along with 35 healthy controls, underwent MRI imaging. For each, MTR (magnetization transfer ratio) measurements were taken. MTR is a measure of structural integrity; decreased MTR in a region of tissue reflects degradation of the macromolecules there.
Results showed a reduction in MTR both in the normal appearing white
matter (NAWM) and the normal appearing gray matter (NAGM) in MS subjects
compared with controls. Furthermore, disability in the MS subjects was
inversely associated with the NAGM MTR. This study supports not only the
existence but also the clinical significance of gray matter damage early
in the course of MS. The authors of the study suggest that NAGM MTR be
further evaluated as a potential indicator of clinical efficacy in trials
of therapeutic agents for MS.
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