Emergence of thalamic magnetization transfer ratio abnormality in early relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis
ABSTRACT While there is now evidence for thalamic abnormality in established secondary progressive and relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS), it remains unclear when such abnormality begins. This study investigated the emergence of thalamic abnormality in relapsing-remitting MS by assessing the thalamic magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) in a cohort with clinically early disease. Twenty-three patients with early relapsing-remitting MS (mean age 37; mean disease duration 1.9 years; Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) range 0-3) and 19 healthy controls (mean age 34) were imaged yearly with a magnetization transfer imaging sequence. Twenty-two MS patients and 14 controls completed two-year follow-up. Regions of interest were placed in both thalami and mean thalamic MTR calculated. At baseline, significant differences between patient and control thalamic MTR were not observed. However, at years one and two, the thalamic MTR in patients was significantly lower than control MTR. Although baseline lesion volume did not correlate with baseline thalamic MTR, at year one, an association between baseline lesion volume and year one thalamic MTR emerged. There was also a significant inverse correlation between EDSS and thalamic MTR (r = -0.47, P = 0.02). The study suggests that thalamic involvement occurs within the first five years of MS onset, when most patients are still minimally disabled.
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ABSTRACT: Preventive maintenance is essential for every chemical production site, as it can prevent equipment failure and accidents. In order to minimize the production loss caused by maintenance, the maintenance has to be carefully scheduled. To obtain an optimal maintenance strategy for a whole production site, the maintenance schedules of the production and utility plant have to be tackled simultaneously considering site-wide utility and material balances. However, the interconnections between production and utility system make the scheduling problem become very complex and difficult. In this paper, a multi-period mixed integer linear programming model, Site Model, is proposed as an aid to optimize short-term site-wide maintenance schedule. A special formulation is adopted to handle pre-set utility and material demand profiles during the shutdown, maintenance and start-up periods of plants.Computers & Chemical Engineering 01/2004; 28(1-2):91-102. DOI:10.1016/S1570-7946(02)80137-7 · 2.45 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Magnetization transfer (MT) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can provide in vivo quantitative estimates of microscopic tissue damage in normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) and gray matter (GM) from patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). To determine whether a one-time MT MRI can provide markers of short-term disease evolution in patients with relapsing-remitting MS. Eighteen-month observational study. Neuroimaging Research Unit, Scientific Institute and University Ospedale San Raffaele. Twenty-two patients with untreated relapsing-remitting MS. Relapse rate; disability according to the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS); dual-echo, 2-dimensional gradient echo with and without a saturation MT pulse and T1-weighted MRIs of the brain; and MT ratio (MTR) histograms for NAWM and GM. During the study period, 13 patients (59%) experienced 25 relapses. The median EDSS score was 1.25 (range, 0-3.5) at study entry and 1.75 (range, 0-3) at study exit. Significant, although moderate, correlations were found between average GM MTR values at baseline and EDSS changes during the study period (r = -0.44; P = .04). A trend was observed for the correlation between NAWM MTR values at baseline and the EDSS changes throughout 18 months (r = -0.42; P = .05). For the relation between EDSS changes and baseline GM MTR, the slope of the regression line was -0.5 (95% confidence interval, -1.0 to 0.0), indicating that a decrease in the baseline GM MTR of 1% predicted an increase in the EDSS score of 0.5 point throughout the 18 months. This study indicates that a "snapshot" MT MRI assessment detects subtle brain tissue changes that are associated with short-term disability accumulation in patients with relapsing-remitting MS.JAMA Neurology 06/2006; 63(5):736-40. DOI:10.1001/archneur.63.5.736 · 7.01 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Fatigue in multiple sclerosis (MS) occurs commonly, sometimes as the earliest symptom. Some MS patients consider fatigue to be their most troublesome complaint, and it has been shown to be an independent predictor of impaired quality of life. Several reports have demonstrated that subcortical gray matter pathology is related to fatigue. We hypothesized that MRI detectable changes in the deep gray matter of MS patients may correlate with fatigue severity. Our objective was: to assess the relationship between fatigue severity and detectable changes on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), quantified using the mean T1 relaxation time (T1), in deep gray matter structures in relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Using region of interest analysis, T1 values were measured for the thalamus, putamen and caudate nucleus in 52 RRMS patients and 19 healthy volunteers. Fatigue was assessed using the Fatigue Severity Scale. Results: The median T1 in the thalamus and the putamen were significantly higher in the patient cohort than in the healthy controls; the median T1 in the caudate was also higher in the MS patients but did not reach statistical significance. There was a significant correlation between fatigue severity and the T1 of the thalamus (rho = 0.418; p = 0.014). Furthermore, the median T1 in the thalamus was significantly higher in patients with fatigue compared with those without (p = 0.018). Our results provide further evidence for the role of subcortical gray matter structures in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS)-related fatigue. This study also demonstrates that T1 relaxation time measurement is a suitable technique for detecting abnormalities of the deep gray matter in RRMS and presents further support of gray matter involvement in MS.Journal of Neurology 08/2006; 253(7):896-902. DOI:10.1007/s00415-006-0128-9 · 3.84 Impact Factor