Magnetic resonance imaging of grey matter damage in people with MS

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The classical view of MS as an inflammatory-demyelinating condition affecting the white matter (WM) of the central nervous system (CNS) has recently been challenged by the results of several magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies. These consistently show grey matter (GM) involvement, which correlates only moderately with the extent of WM pathology. Here we summarize how conventional and modern imaging-based techniques have quantified GM damage in MS, in terms of focal lesions, diffuse tissue abnormalities and irreversible tissue loss. Results from functional MRI studies, together with these new findings, are contributing to a significant change in our MS understanding. MS is now viewed as a global CNS condition, affecting both WM and GM, which has an early and important neurodegenerative component.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-21
Number of pages10
JournalInternational MS Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007


  • Grey matter
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neurodegeneration
  • White matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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