Connectivity-based parcellation of the thalamus in multiple sclerosis and its implications for cognitive impairment: A multicenter study

Alvino Bisecco, Maria A. Rocca, Elisabetta Pagani, Laura Mancini, Christian Enzinger, Antonio Gallo, Hugo Vrenken, Maria Laura Stromillo, Massimiliano Copetti, David L. Thomas, Franz Fazekas, Gioacchino Tedeschi, Frederik Barkhof, Nicola De Stefano, Massimo Filippi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this multicenter study, we performed a tractography-based parcellation of the thalamus and its white matter connections to investigate the relationship between thalamic connectivity abnormalities and cognitive impairment in multiple sclerosis (MS). Dual-echo, morphological and diffusion tensor (DT) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were collected from 52 relapsing-remitting MS patients and 57 healthy controls from six European centers. Patients underwent an extensive neuropsychological assessment. Thalamic connectivity defined regions (CDRs) were segmented based on their cortical connectivity using diffusion tractography-based parcellation. Between-group differences of CDRs and cortico-thalamic tracts DT MRI indices were assessed. A vertex analysis of thalamic shape was also performed. A random forest analysis was run to identify the best imaging predictor of global cognitive impairment and deficits of specific cognitive domains. Twenty-two (43%) MS patients were cognitively impaired (CI). Compared to cognitively preserved, CI MS patients had increased fractional anisotropy of frontal, motor, postcentral and occipital connected CDRs (0.002

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2809-2825
Number of pages17
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Volume36
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2015

Keywords

  • Cognitive impairment
  • DT MRI
  • Gray matter
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Thalamus
  • White matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anatomy
  • Neurology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology

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