Mar 19, 2002
In people with relapsing-remitting MS who experience cognitive impairment, diffusion-tensor magnetic resonance imaging can indicate the severity of certain aspects of this impairment, new data suggest.
Cognition describes the mental processes of thinking, knowing, remembering and judging. Diffusion-tensor magnetic resonance imaging, meanwhile, is an intensive brain scan that is sensitive to MS lesion load.
Researchers performed these brain scans in 34 patients who had relapsing-remitting MS. The scientists also conducted various cognitive tests designed to measure skills such as attention, memory, language and complex reasoning.
Ultimately, nine individuals in this study sample were found to have cognitive impairment.
The investigators observed moderate associations between cognitive test scores and brain lesion volume. In contrast, there were no such associations between cognitive test scores and total brain volume.
The study authors concluded that diffusion-tensor magnetic resonance imaging can provide quantitative data about language, attention and memory deficits in people with relapsing-remitting MS.
The study appears in the March issue of Journal of the Neurological
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