Patterns of regional gray matter and white matter atrophy in cortical multiple sclerosis

Laura Parisi, Maria A. Rocca, Flavia Mattioli, Gianna C. Riccitelli, Ruggero Capra, Chiara Stampatori, Fabio Bellomi, Massimo Filippi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated the patterns of regional distribution of focal lesions, white matter (WM) and gray matter (GM) atrophy in patients with cortical (cort) MS in comparison to classical (c) MS patients. Nine cort-MS, nine c-MS and nine age-matched healthy controls (HC) underwent a brain MRI exam, including FLAIR and high-resolution T1-weighted scans. MS patients underwent neurological and neuropsychological assessment. Between-group differences of GM and WM volumes and their correlations with neuropsychological performances were assessed with voxel-based morphometry. FLAIR and T1 lesion probability maps (LPMs) were also obtained. Performance at neuropsychological tests was worse in cort-MS than in c-MS patients. Compared to HC, MS patients had a distributed pattern of GM and WM atrophy. No GM/WM area was more atrophic in c-MS vs cort-MS patients. Compared to c-MS, cort-MS patients experienced GM atrophy of frontal–temporal–parietal areas and cingulate cortex and WM atrophy of the cingulum bundle, bilateral cerebral peduncles, right inferior longitudinal fasciculus and left superior longitudinal fasciculus. FLAIR and T1 LPMs did not differ between c-MS vs cort-MS patients. A higher susceptibility to neurodegenerative processes in key brain regions known to be related to cognitive functions is likely to underlie the clinical manifestations of cort-MS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1715-1725
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neurology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Cortical multiple sclerosis
  • Gray matter
  • MRI
  • Regional damage
  • White matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Patterns of regional gray matter and white matter atrophy in cortical multiple sclerosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this