Axonal injury in the cerebral normal-appearing white matter of patients with multiple sclerosis is related to concurrent demyelination in lesions but not to concurrent demyelination in normal-appearing white matter.
ABSTRACT We assessed axonal injury and demyelination in the cerebral normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) of MS patients in a pilot study using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging and quantitative magnetization transfer (MT) imaging. Resonance intensities of N-acetylaspartate (NAA) relative to creatine (Cr) were measured in a large central brain volume. NAA/Cr in NAWM was estimated by regression of the NAA/Cr in each voxel against white matter fraction and extrapolation to a white matter fraction of 1. The fractional size of the semi-solid pool (F) was obtained from the binary spin bath model of MT by computing the model parameters from multiple MT-weighted and relaxometry acquisitions. F in NAWM was significantly smaller in the patients [0.109 (0.009)] relative to controls [0.123 (0.007), P = 0.011], but did not differ between RR [0.1085] and SP [0.1087] patients [P > 0.99]. NAA/Cr and F in the NAWM were not correlated (r = 0.16, P > 0.7), mainly due to a lack of variation in F among patients. This may indicate a floor to the extent of myelin pathology that can occur in NAWM before a lesion appears, or that axonal damage is not strictly related to demyelination. The correlation between NAWM NAA/Cr and T2w lesion volume was not significant (P > 0.1). However, dividing the lesion volumes by the mean F in T2w lesions resulted in a quantity that correlated well with NAWM NAA/Cr (r = -0.78, P = 0.038), possibly reflecting the association of Wallerian degeneration in the NAWM with axonal transection associated with demyelination within lesions.
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ABSTRACT: Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and MR spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) provide greater sensitivity than conventional MRI to detect diffuse alterations in normal appearing white matter (NAWM) of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients with different clinical forms. Therefore, the goal of this study is to combine DTI and MRSI measurements to analyze the relation between diffusion and metabolic markers, T2-weighted lesion load (T2-LL) and the patients clinical status. The sensitivity and specificity of both methods were then compared in terms of MS clinical forms differentiation. MR examination was performed on 71 MS patients (27 relapsing remitting (RR), 26 secondary progressive (SP) and 18 primary progressive (PP)) and 24 control subjects. DTI and MRSI measurements were obtained from two identical regions of interest selected in left and right centrum semioval (CSO) WM. DTI metrics and metabolic contents were significantly altered in MS patients with the exception of N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA) and NAA/Choline (Cho) ratio in RR patients. Significant correlations were observed between diffusion and metabolic measures to various degrees in every MS patients group. Most DTI metrics were significantly correlated with the T2-LL while only NAA/Cr ratio was correlated in RR patients. A comparison analysis of MR methods efficiency demonstrated a better sensitivity/specificity of DTI over MRSI. Nevertheless, NAA/Cr ratio could distinguish all MS and SP patients groups from controls, while NAA/Cho ratio differentiated PP patients from controls. This study demonstrated that diffusivity changes related to microstructural alterations were correlated with metabolic changes and provided a better sensitivity to detect early changes, particularly in RR patients who are more subject to inflammatory processes. In contrast, the better specificity of metabolic ratios to detect axonal damage and demyelination may provide a better index for identification of PP patients.PLoS ONE 03/2012; 7(3-e32525). · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic and devastating autoimmune demyelinating disease of the central nervous system. With the increased understanding of the pathophysiology of this disease in the past two decades, many disease-modifying therapies that primarily target adaptive immunity have been shown to prevent exacerbations and new lesions in patients with relapsing-remitting MS. However, these therapies only have limited efficacy on the progression of disability. Increasing evidence has pointed to innate immunity, axonal damage and neuronal loss as important contributors to disease progression. Remyelination of denuded axons is considered an effective way to protect neurons from damage and to restore neuronal function. The identification of several key molecules and pathways controlling the differentiation of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells and myelination has yielded clues for the development of drug candidates that directly target remyelination and neuroprotection. The long-term efficacy of this strategy remains to be evaluated in clinical trials. Here, we provide an overview of current and emerging therapeutic concepts, with a focus on the opportunities and challenges for the remyelination approach to the treatment of MS.Neuroscience Bulletin 04/2013; 29(2):144-54. · 1.37 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The development and application of biomarkers to neurodegenerative diseases has become increasingly important in clinical practice and therapeutic trials. While substantial progress has been made at the basic science level in understanding the pathophysiology of HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders (HAND), there are significant limitations in our current ability to predict the onset or trajectory of disease, and to accurately determine the effects of therapeutic interventions. Thus, the development of objective biomarkers is critical to further our understanding and treatment of HAND. In recent years, biomarker discovery efforts have largely been driven forward through the implementation of multiple "omics" approaches that include (but are not restricted to): Lipidomics, proteomics, metabolomics, genomics, transcriptomics, and advances in brain imaging approaches such as functional connectomics. In this paper we summarize our progress to date on lipidomic approaches to biomarker discovery, discuss how these data have influenced basic research on the neuropathology of HAND, and implications for the development of therapeutics that target metabolic pathways involved in lipid handling.Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology 11/2013; · 3.80 Impact Factor