Resting-state fMRI in MS: General concepts and brief overview of its application

Emilia Sbardella, Nikolaos Petsas, Francesca Tona, Patrizia Pantano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Brain functional connectivity (FC) is defined as the coherence in the activity between cerebral areas under a task or in the resting-state (RS). By applying functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), RS FC shows several patterns which define RS brain networks (RSNs) involved in specific functions, because brain function is known to depend not only on the activity within individual regions, but also on the functional interaction of different areas across the whole brain. Region-of-interest analysis and independent component analysis are the two most commonly applied methods for RS investigation. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is characterized by multiple lesions mainly affecting the white matter, determining both structural and functional disconnection between various areas of the central nervous system. The study of RS FC in MS is mainly aimed at understanding alterations in the intrinsic functional architecture of the brain and their role in disease progression and clinical impairment. In this paper, we will examine the results obtained by the application of RS fMRI in different multiple sclerosis (MS) phenotypes and the correlations of FC changes with clinical features in this pathology. The knowledge of RS FC changes may represent a substantial step forward in the MS research field, both for clinical and therapeutic purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number212693
JournalBioMed Research International
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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