Cognitive and white matter tract differences in ms and diffuse neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus

B. Cesar, M. G. Dwyer, J. L. Shucard, P. Polak, X. N. Bergsland, R. H B Benedict, B. Weinstock-Guttman, D. W. Shucard, R. Zivadinov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Multiple sclerosis and neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus are autoimmune diseases with similar CNS inflammatory and neurodegenerative characteristics. Our aim was to investigate white matter tract changes and their association with cognitive function in patients with MS and those with neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus compared with healthy controls by using diffusion tensor imaging. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty patients with relapsing-remitting MS and 23 patients with neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus matched for disease severity and duration and 43 healthy controls were scanned with 3T MR imaging. The DTI was postprocessed, corrected for lesions, and analyzed with tract-based spatial statistics. Cognitive assessment included examination of processing speed; visual, auditory/verbal, and visual-spatial memory; and sustained attention and executive function. Differences were considered significant at P <.05. RESULTS: Tract-based spatial statistics analysis revealed significantly decreased fractional anisotropy and increased mean diffusivity in patients with MS compared with healthy controls, decreased fractional anisotropy in patients with MS compared with those with neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus, and an increased mean diffusivity in patients with neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus compared with healthy controls. Patients with MS showed decreased fractional anisotropy throughout central WM pathways, including the corpus callosum and the inferior longitudinal and fronto-occipital fasciculi compared with those with neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus. Altered cognitive scores in patients with MS were significantly associated with decreased fractional anisotropy and increased mean diffusivity in all examined domains, while in patients with diffuse neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus, only decreased fractional anisotropy in the superior WM pathways showed significant association with executive function. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with MS and neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus showed widespreadWMtract alterations outside overt lesions, though more severe changes were identified in patients with MS. The WM tract changes were associated with cognitive dysfunction in all explored domains only in patients with MS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1874-1883
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Volume36
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2015

Keywords

  • AD-axial diffusivity
  • FA-fractional anisotropy
  • HC-healthy control
  • MD-mean diffusivity
  • NPSLE-neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus
  • PASAT-Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task
  • RD-radial diffusivity
  • SLE-systemic lupus erythematosus
  • TBSS-tract-based spatial statistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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