G R Davies

University College London, London, ENG, United Kingdom

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Publications (15)64.32 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Gadolinium (Gd) enhancement of lesions indicates inflammatory lesion activity in multiple sclerosis (MS). The question arises whether early inflammatory lesion activity--measured sensitively using triple dose Gd--is related to the future clinical course, or to the development of brain atrophy that is thought to reflect the underlying pathological progression of the disease. In this study, 26 patients with early relapsing-remitting (RR) MS (median disease duration: 1.7 years) were followed up over two years. Associations were explored between their levels of Gd-lesion enhancement in the first six months and later clinical (Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) and MS Functional Composite Score (MSFC)) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (brain volume, T(2) and T(1) lesion volumes) measures. The extent of Gd-enhancement in the first six months correlated weakly with concurrent relapses (P =0.041), but there was no consistent correlation with clinical and MRI outcomes at two years. More prolonged follow-up is warranted to clarify the relationship between early inflammatory lesions and long-term clinical course.
    Multiple Sclerosis 04/2007; 13(2):178-85. · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the presence and evolution of T(1) relaxation time abnormalities in normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) and grey matter (GM), early in the course of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS). Twenty-three patients with early relapsing-remitting MS and 14 healthy controls were imaged six monthly for up to three years. Mean follow-up was 26 months for MS patients and 24 months for controls. Dual-echo fast-spin echo and gradient-echo proton-density and T(1)-weighted data sets (permitting the calculation of a T(1) map) were acquired in all subjects. GM and NAWM T(1) histograms were produced and a hierarchical regression model was used to investigate changes in T(1) over time. At baseline, significant patient-control differences were seen, both in NAWM (P <0.001) and in GM (P =0.01). At follow-up, there was no evidence for a serial change in either mean T(1) or peak-location for either NAWM or GM. There was weak evidence for a decline in patient NAWM peak-height and also evidence for a decline in control GM peak-height. There are significant and persistent abnormalities of NAWM and GM T(1) in early relapsing-remitting MS. Further studies should address whether such T(1) measures have a role in prognosis or therapeutic monitoring.
    Multiple Sclerosis 03/2007; 13(2):169-77. · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The onset of multiple sclerosis is relapsing remitting or primary progressive. An improved understanding of the causes of early progressive disability in primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) could provide mechanistic targets for therapeutic intervention. Five magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) parameters that could potentially cause progressive disability were investigated in 43 patients with early PPMS and in 37 patients with early relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS): atrophy in brain, both grey matter and white matter; intrinsic abnormality in brain, both grey matter and white matter (measured by the magnetisation transfer ratio (MTR)); and atrophy of the upper cervical spinal cord. Both groups were also compared with controls. Patients with PPMS were older and more likely to be men. Both patient groups had atrophy of brain grey matter and white matter, and intrinsic abnormality in MTR of normal-appearing grey matter and white matter. Cord atrophy was present only in the PPMS (mean cord area: PPMS, 67.8 mm2; RRMS, 72.7 mm2; controls, 73.4 mm2; p = 0.007). This was confirmed by multivariate analysis of all five MRI parameters, age and sex. Grey matter and white matter of the brain are abnormal in both early RRMS and PPMS, but cord atrophy is present only in PPMS. This is concordant with myelopathy being the usual clinical presentation of PPMS. Measurement of cord atrophy seems to be clinically relevant in PPMS treatment trials.
    Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 10/2006; 77(9):1036-9. · 4.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies have shown that upper cervical cord atrophy (UCCA) occurs in multiple sclerosis (MS), particularly in those disabled and with primary or secondary progressive disease. It is less clear how early it can be detected in relapsing-remitting (RR) MS, and whether early cord atrophy relates to the concurrent or future clinical course. Twenty seven RR MS patients (median disease duration 1.7 years, in all cases <3 years from onset) were recruited along with 20 controls. They were followed for up to 3 years with a yearly assessment of UCCA and clinical function measured by the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) and MS Functional Composite Score (MSFC). Clinical and MRI correlations were investigated. Statistical models adjusted for covariates including total intracranial volume. Longitudinal analysis showed a significant decrease in UCCA in patients both within the patient cohort (p < 0.001) and in comparison with controls (p = 0.001). There was a significant increase in EDSS (p = 0.008) but no significant change in MSFC. The rate of UCCA loss did not correlate with clinical change or with change in brain volume. In summary, serial UCCA measurement detects the development of spinal cord atrophy in clinically early RR MS.
    Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery &amp Psychiatry 02/2006; 77(1):51-5. · 4.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) often develop severe disability despite low levels of abnormality on conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This may relate to diffuse pathological processes occurring in normal appearing brain tissue (NABT) involving both white matter (NAWM) and grey matter (NAGM). Magnetisation transfer imaging (MTI) is capable of identifying these processes and may be particularly informative when applied to patients with early PPMS. To assess the relationship between abnormalities in NABT identified by MTI and disability and other radiological data in patients with early PPMS. We studied 43 patients within 5 years of disease onset and 43 controls. The Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) and the Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite (MSFC) were scored. Magnetisation transfer ratios (MTR) of NABT, NAWM, and NAGM were calculated and the following MTR parameters were measured: mean, peak height, peak location, and MTR value at the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentiles. Proton density, T2, T1, and gadolinium enhancing lesion loads were also calculated. Differences were found between patients and controls in mean, peak height, and peak location of NAWM and NAGM (p < or = 0.001). Weak to moderate correlations were found between MTR parameters and disability in both NAWM and NAGM. Strong correlations between MTR parameters and lesion loads were found, particularly in NAWM. MTR abnormalities are seen in NAWM and NAGM in early PPMS and both are associated with disability. NAWM MTR abnormalities are more closely related to conventional MRI measures than those seen in NAGM.
    Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery &amp Psychiatry 02/2006; 77(1):40-5. · 4.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abnormalities within normal-appearing grey and white matter (NAGM and NAWM) occur early in the clinical course of multiple sclerosis (MS) and can be detected in-vivo using the magnetisation transfer ratio (MTR). To better characterize the rates of change in both tissues and to ascertain when such changes begin, we serially studied a cohort of minimally disabled, early relapsing-remitting MS patients, using NAGM and NAWM MTR histograms. Twenty-three patients with clinically definite early relapsing-remitting MS (mean disease duration at baseline 1.9 years), and 19 healthy controls were studied. A magnetisation transfer imaging sequence was acquired yearly for two years. Twenty-one patients and 10 controls completed followup. NAWM and NAGM MTR histograms were derived and mean MTR calculated. A hierarchical regression analysis, adjusting for brain parenchymal fraction,was used to assess MTR change over time. MS NAWM and NAGM MTR were significantly reduced in comparison with controls at baseline and, in patients, both measures decreased further during follow-up: (-0.10 pu/year, p=0.001 and -0.18 pu/year, p<0.001 respectively). The rate of MTR decrease was significantly greater in NAGM than NAWM (p=0.004). Under the assumption that such changes are linear, backward extrapolation of the observed rates of change suggested that NAWM abnormality began before symptom onset. We conclude that increasing MTR abnormalities in NAWM and NAGM are observed early in the course of relapsing-remitting MS. It is now important to investigate whether these measures are predictive of future disability, and consequently, whether MTR could be used as a surrogate marker in therapeutic trials.
    Journal of Neurology 09/2005; 252(9):1037-44. · 3.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Two relatively new techniques purport to give measures of the myelin content of brain tissue. These measures are the myelin water fraction from multicompartmental T(2) analysis, and the semisolid proton fraction from analysis of magnetization transfer (MT). The myelin water fraction is the fraction of signal with a T(2) of less than 50 ms measured from a 32-echo sequence. It is believed to originate from water trapped between the myelin bilayers. The semisolid proton fraction is thought to include protons within phospholipid bilayers and macromolecular protons, and may also be a measure of myelin content. Multicompartmental T(2) and MT imaging were carried out on controls and patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), and estimates of the semisolid proton and myelin water fractions were obtained from white matter (WM), gray matter (GM), and MS lesions. These were then correlated for each tissue and subject group. Positive correlations were seen for MS lesions (r approximately 0.2) and in WM in patients (r = 0.6). A negative correlation (r approximately -0.3) was seen for GM. These results indicate that the two techniques measure, to some extent, the same thing (most likely myelin content), but that other factors, such as inflammation, mean they may provide complementary information.
    Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 07/2005; 53(6):1415-22. · 3.27 Impact Factor
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    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.
    Multiple Sclerosis 07/2005; 11(3):276-81. · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The original article to which this Erratum refers was published in Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (2003) 50(1) 83–91.
    Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 01/2005; 53(2):492 - 493. · 3.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study used a model for magnetization transfer (MT) to estimate two underlying parameters: the macromolecular proton fraction (f) and the bound pool T2 (T2b) in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Sixty patients with clinically definite MS and 27 healthy controls were imaged using: (1) a dual echo fast spin echo sequence, (2) a MT sequence (with ten MT power and offset frequency combinations) and (3) proton density and T1 weighted sequences (for T1 relaxation time estimation). Fourteen normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) regions of interest (ROI) and six normal-appearing gray matter (NAGM) ROIs were outlined in all subjects. Lesions were also contoured in subjects affected by MS. The model was fitted to the data leading to estimates of T2b and f. Results showed that T2b was increased in lesions whereas f was reduced. In NAWM, f was decreased while T2b was only increased in secondary progressive MS. NAWM f correlated modestly with disability. Further studies are needed to investigate the pathological basis of the abnormalities observed.
    Multiple Sclerosis 01/2005; 10(6):607-13. · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Brain atrophy appears to occur in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) in excess of that associated with normal ageing, and may be observed early in the clinical course of the disease. The dynamics and tissue specificity of this process remain unclear This preliminary study explored the evolution of brain grey matter (GM) and white matter (WM) volume loss (as fractions of total intracranial volumes) in 13 subjects with relapsing-remitting MS (mean disease duration 1.9 years at first scan), compared with nine normal control (NC) subjects. Subjects were scanned every six months for 18 months. In MS compared with NC subjects, significant differences in WM fractional volumes were observed at baseline (mean - 5.8%, P = 0.008) but no apparent progressive WM tissue loss was detected. In contrast, while no significant differences in GM fractional volumes were observed at baseline, there was significantly greater time-related volume loss in MS compared with NC subjects over the follow-up period (circa - 0.0086 per year in MS subjects, - 0.0021 per year in the NC subjects, difference P = 0.010). These results suggest that while both GM and WM atrophy are seen early in the clinical course of MS, they may not occur concurrently and may evolve at different rates.
    Multiple Sclerosis 09/2004; 10(4):387-91. · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To establish whether magnetisation transfer ratio (MTR) histograms are sensitive to change in normal appearing grey matter (NAGM) in early relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) in the absence of significant disability; and to assess whether grey or white matter MTR measures are associated with clinical measures of impairment in early RRMS METHODS: 38 patients were studied (mean disease duration 1.9 years (range 0.5 to 3.7); median expanded disability status scale (EDSS) 1.5 (0 to 3)), along with 35 healthy controls. MTR was determined from proton density weighted images with and without MT presaturation. SPM99 was used to generate normal appearing white matter (NAWM) and NAGM segments of the MTR map, and partial voxels were minimised with a 10 pu threshold and voxel erosions. Mean MTR was calculated from the tissue segments. Atrophy measures were determined using a 3D fast spoiled gradient recall sequence from 37 patients and 17 controls. Mean NAGM and NAWM MTR were both reduced in early RRMS (NAGM MTR: 31.9 pu in patients v 32.2 pu in controls; p<0.001; NAWM MTR: 37.9 v 38.3 pu, p = 0.001). Brain parenchymal fraction (BPF) correlated with NAGM MTR, but when BPF was included as a covariate NAGM MTR was still lower in the patients (p = 0.009). EDSS correlated with NAGM MTR (r = 0.446 p = 0.005). In early RRMS, grey matter MTR abnormality is apparent. The correlation with mild clinical impairment (in this essentially non-disabled cohort) suggests that NAGM MTR could be a clinically relevant surrogate marker in therapeutic trials.
    Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery &amp Psychiatry 07/2004; 75(7):998-1002. · 4.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (DTI) reveals measurable abnormalities in normal-appearing brain tissue (NABT) in established multiple sclerosis (MS). However, it is unclear how early this occurs. Recent studies have employed whole brain histogram analysis to improve sensitivity, but concern exists regarding reliability of tissue/cerebrospinal fluid segmentation and possible intersubject brain volume differences, which can introduce partial volume error: To address this, 28 early relapsing-remitting MS subjects [median disease duration 1.6 years; median Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score 1.5] and 20 controls were compared with whole brain histogram analysis using an automated segmentation algorithm to improve reproducibility. Brain parenchymal volumes (BPV) were estimated for each subject in the analysis. The mean, peak height and peak location were calculated for DTI parameters [fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity and volume ratio]. An increased FA peak height in MS subject NABT was observed (P = 0.02) accounting for age, gender and BPV. Removing BPV revealed additional abnormalities in NABT. The main conclusions are i) FA peak height is increased in NABT in early MS, ii) partial volume edge effects may contribute to apparent NABT histogram abnormalities, and iii) correction for brain volume differences should reduce potential partial volume edge effects.
    Multiple Sclerosis 03/2004; 10(1):9-15. · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Quantitative analysis of magnetization transfer images has the potential to allow a more thorough characterization of the protons, both bound and free, in a tissue by extracting a number of parameters relating to the NMR properties of the protons and their local environment. This work develops previously presented techniques to produce estimates of parameters such as the bound proton fraction, f, and the transverse relaxation time of the bound pool, T(2B), for the whole brain in a clinically acceptable imaging time. This is achieved by limiting the number of data collected (typically to 10); to collect 28 5-mm slices with a reconstructed resolution of 0.94 x 0.94 mm. The protocol takes 82 sec per data point. The fitting technique is assessed against previous work and for fitting failures. Maps and analysis are presented from a group of seven controls and 20 multiple sclerosis patients. The maps show that the parameters are sensitive to tissue-specific differences and can detect pathological change within lesions. Statistically significant differences in parameters such as T(2B) and f are seen between normal-appearing white matter, multiple sclerosis lesions, and control white matter. Whole-brain histograms of these parameters are also presented, showing differences between patients and controls.
    Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 08/2003; 50(1):83-91. · 3.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report on a new quantitative magnetization transfer (MT) technique that allows for the in vivo estimation of the macromolecular proton fraction (f) and the bound pool T2 relaxation time (T2b), whilst permitting whole brain coverage. In this pilot study, five subjects with multiple sclerosis (MS) and five healthy controls were studied. Both f and T2b were significantly different between MS lesions and normal control white matter (WM). Relationships between f and T1 relaxation time [Spearmans rank correlation coefficient (r(s)) = -0.97, P < 0.001] and f and the magnetization transfer ratio (MTR; r(s) = 0.80, P < 0.001) were observed. Compared with MTR, f and T2b have the potential advantage of relative independence from MT acquisition protocol while offering more pathologically specific information. In particular, f may provide a more direct indication of myelin content in WM.
    Multiple Sclerosis 06/2003; 9(3):246-9. · 4.47 Impact Factor