MRI characteristics of familial and sporadic multiple sclerosis patients

Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center, State University of New York, USA.
Multiple Sclerosis (Impact Factor: 4.82). 12/2012; 19(9). DOI: 10.1177/1352458512469697
Source: PubMed


To investigate the MRI characteristics in a large cohort of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with and without a family history of MS.

Enrolled in this prospective study were 758 consecutive MS patients (mean age 46.2 ± 10.1 years, disease duration 13.6 ± 9.2 years and EDSS 3.4 ± 2.1), of whom 477 had relapsing-remitting, 222 secondary-progressive, and 30 primary-progressive disease courses and 29 had clinically isolated syndrome. One hundred and ninety-six patients (25.9%) had a positive family history of MS. Patients were assessed using measurements of lesions, brain atrophy, magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) and diffusion-weighted imaging.

The familial MS group had greater T1-lesion volume (p=0.009) and a trend for lower MTR of T1-lesion volume (p=0.047) than the sporadic MS group. No clinical differences were found between familial versus sporadic group, or by a degree of affected relative subgroups.

While familial MS was associated with more severe T1-lesion volume and its MTR characteristics, there were no clinical status differences between familial and sporadic MS patients. Therefore, a better understanding of the genetic and/or epigenetic influences causing these differences can advance the understanding and management of MS.

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