Cortical pathology in multiple sclerosis patients with epilepsy: A 3 year longitudinal study
ABSTRACT The cause of epilepsy in multiple sclerosis (MS) has not yet been elucidated. The relevance of cortical pathology (cortical lesions and thickness) in MS patients with and without epilepsy was evaluated in a longitudinal study.
32 relapsing-remitting MS patients with epilepsy (RRMS/E) and 60 matched RRMS patients without epilepsy were included in a 3 year longitudinal study. The following clinical and MR parameters were analysed: Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), cognitive score (CS), cortical lesion (CL) number and volume, grey matter fraction (GMf), global cortical thickness (CTh), T2 white matter lesion volume (T2WMLV), new CLs and new WM lesions.
At baseline (T0), CLs were observed in 27/32 (84.4%) RRMS/E and in 26/60 (43.3%) RRMS (p<0.001) patients, and the RRMS/E group had a higher number (10.2 ± 8.9 vs 4.5 ± 2.4; p<0.001) and total volume (2.0 ± 1.3 vs 0.7 ± 0.8 cm(3); p<0.001) of CLs compared with the RRMS group. No significant difference in T2WMLV was observed. Global CTh was lower in RRMS/E (2.12 ± 0.19 vs 2.35 ± 0.14 mm; p<0.001), and this group also showed a decline in cognition (CS 10.9 ± 6.3 vs 6.2 ± 3.5; p<0.001). After 3 years (T1), the RRMS/E group had a higher accumulation of new CLs (3.4 ± 3.2 vs 1.2 ± 1.1; p<0.001) and faster reduction of GMf (p=0.022) while the two groups did not differ in the number of new WM and new Gad+ lesions.
RRMS/E had a more severe and rapidly evolving cortical pathology (CLs and atrophy) compared with RRMS without epilepsy. The RRMS/E group was also characterised by more pronounced cognitive decline, higher EDSS and higher prevalence of men.
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ABSTRACT: Although historically considered a disease primarily affecting the white matter of the central nervous system, recent pathological and imaging studies have established that cortical demyelination is common in multiple sclerosis and more extensive than previously appreciated. Subpial, intracortical and leukocortical lesions are the three cortical lesion types described in the cerebral and cerebellar cortices of patients with multiple sclerosis. Cortical demyelination may be the pathological substrate of progression, and an important pathologic correlate of irreversible disability, epilepsy and cognitive impairment. Cortical lesions of chronic progressive multiple sclerosis patients are characterized by a dominant effector cell population of microglia, by the absence of macrophagic and leukocytic inflammatory infiltrates, and may be driven in part by organized meningeal inflammatory infiltrates. Cortical demyelination is also present and common in early MS, is topographically associated with prominent meningeal inflammation and may even precede the appearance of classic white matter plaques in some MS patients. However, the pathology of early cortical lesions is different than that of chronic MS in the sense that early cortical lesions are highly inflammatory, suggesting that neurodegeneration in MS occurs on an inflammatory background and raising interesting questions regarding the role of cortical demyelination and meningeal inflammation in initiating and perpetuating the disease process in early MS.BMC Neurology 03/2012; 12:11. DOI:10.1186/1471-2377-12-11 · 2.49 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cortical grey matter lesions are common in multiple sclerosis (MS), but usually not seen on MRI. The authors compared the performance of double inversion recovery (DIR, currently considered the best available imaging sequence for detecting cortical lesions) with phase-sensitive inversion recovery (PSIR, a sequence allowing much higher resolution scans to be obtained in a clinically feasible time). Sixty MS patients and 30 healthy controls underwent MRI scanning on a 3 Tesla scanner. The authors compared intracortical (IC) and leucocortical (LC) lesion counts obtained with a standard DIR sequence (1×1×3 mm resolution, obtained in 4 min) and a PSIR sequence (0.5×0.5×2 mm, 11 min). Lesions were marked separately on DIR and PSIR scans. In the whole MS cohort, more cortical lesions were seen on the higher-resolution PSIR than the DIR scans (IC mean±SD: 18.1±9.8 vs 5.9±4.5, p<0.001; LC mean±SD: 13.4±12.9 vs 7.3±8.0, p<0.001). On PSIR, ≥1 IC lesion was seen in 60/60 MS patients and 1/30 controls, and ≥1 LC lesion in 60/60 patients and 6/30 controls. On DIR, ≥1 IC lesion was seen in 50/60 patients and 0/30 controls, and ≥1 LC lesion(s) in 60/60 patients and 5/30 controls. Compared with DIR, using PSIR the authors are able to detect a significantly greater number of cortical grey matter lesions. The presence of at least one IC lesion in every MS patient, but very few healthy controls, suggests that it may be a useful adjunct to conventional MRI when a diagnosis of MS is suspected but not confirmed.Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 07/2012; 83(9):877-82. DOI:10.1136/jnnp-2012-303023 · 5.58 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background. Although grey matter pathology is a relevant aspect of multiple sclerosis (MS) both with physical and cognitive rebounds, its pathogenesis is still under investigation. To what extent the familial and sporadic cases of MS differ in cortical pathology has not been elucidated yet. Here we present a multiple case report of four sisters affected by MS, all of them having a very high burden of cortical pathology. Methods. The clinical and grey matter MRI parameters of the patients were compared with those of twenty-five-aged matched healthy women and 25 women affected by sporadic MS (matched for age, disease duration, EDSS, and white matter lesion load). Results. Despite their short disease duration (<5 years), the four sisters showed a significant cortical thinning compared to healthy controls (P = 0.003) and sporadic MS (P = 0.041) and higher CLs number (P < 0.001) and volume (P < 0.001) compared to sporadic MS. Discussion. Although limited to a single family, our observation is worth of interest since it suggests that familial factors may account for a peculiar involvement of the cortex in MS pathology. This hypothesis should be further evaluated in a large number of multiplex MS families.09/2012; 2012:760254. DOI:10.1155/2012/760254