Assessment of the damage of the cerebral hemispheres in MS using neuroimaging techniques

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The pattern of mental dysfunction in multiple sclerosis (MS) is characteristic of the so-called subcortical dementia. Cognitive dysfunction results predominantly by the disruption of communication among cortical and subcortical areas, as a consequence of the white matter damage. As expected, studies with conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) demonstrated that cognitive impairment in MS patients is related to the lesion burden, although the strength of this correlation is weak. This can be partially explained by the poor pathological specificity of conventional MRI techniques and by the invisible damage in the normal-appearing white matter (NAWM). Recent studies using non-conventional MRI techniques with a higher specificity for the heterogeneous substrates of MS pathology, such as the assessment of hypointense lesion load on T1-weighted scans and the measurement of the magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) of whole brain, MS lesions and NAWM, support this interpretation. Other factors, such as the site of MS lesions and the presence of active inflammation, also seem to play an important role. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 15 2000


  • Cognitive functions
  • Frontal lobe
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Magnetization transfer imaging
  • Multiple sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Neurology


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