Brain magnetic resonance imaging correlates of cognitive impairment in multiple sclerosis

G. Comi, M. Filippi, V. Martinelli, G. Sirabian, A. Visciani, A. Campi, S. Mammi, M. Rovaris, N. Canal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We evaluated the correlations between cognitive impairment, clinical and brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in 100 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). The performance on one or more neuropsychological tests was abnormal in 47% of the 64 patients who completed the entire neuropsychological battery; the cognitive impairment was mild in 14 (22%) and severe in 16 (25%). Performance on any single neuropsychological test was unrelated to clinical parameters (age, duration of the disease, disability). The neuropsychological performance of relapsing-remitting patients was better than in patients with a chronic-progressive disease. The mean scores for almost all the neuropsychological tests were significantly lower in patients with severe ventricular dilatation and corpus callosum atrophy than in patients in whom these structures were little affected. Mean scores for WMS, performance Intelligence Quotient (IQ), total IQ and Token Test (TT) were also significantly correlated with the widening of cortical sulci and total lesional scores. Our data support the contention that the involvement of pathways that are critical for a given cognitive process as well as the progression of the axonal degeneration and sclerosis seem to play important roles in the pathophysiology of cognitive dysfunction in MS.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue numberSUPPL.
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • Brain magnetic resonance imaging
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Corpus callosum atrophy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neuropsychological tests
  • Pathophysiology
  • Ventricular dilatation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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