Although cognitive impairment (CI) is frequently observed in people with multiple sclerosis (pwMS), its pathogenesis is still controversial. Conflicting results emerged concerning the role of microstructural gray matter (GM) damage especially when involving the deep GM structures. In this study, we aimed at evaluating whether differences in cortical and deep GM structures between apparently cognitively normal (ACN) and CI pwMS (36 subjects in total) are present, using an extensive set of diffusion MRI (dMRI) indices and conventional morphometry measures. The results revealed increased anisotropy and restriction over several deep GM structures in CI compared with ACN pwMS, while no changes in volume were present in the same areas. Conversely, reduced anisotropy/restriction values were detected in cortical regions, mostly the pericalcarine cortex and precuneus, combined with reduced thickness of the superior frontal gyrus and insula. Most of the dMRI metrics but none of the morphometric indices correlated with the Symbol Digit Modality Test. These results suggest that deep GM microstructural damage can be a strong anatomical substrate of CI in pwMS and might allow identifying pwMS at higher risk of developing CI.

Microstructural MRI Correlates of Cognitive Impairment in Multiple Sclerosis: The Role of Deep Gray Matter

Pitteri, Marco
;
Galazzo, Ilaria Boscolo;Brusini, Lorenza;Cruciani, Federica;Dapor, Caterina;Marastoni, Damiano;Menegaz, Gloria;Calabrese, Massimiliano
2021-01-01

Abstract

Although cognitive impairment (CI) is frequently observed in people with multiple sclerosis (pwMS), its pathogenesis is still controversial. Conflicting results emerged concerning the role of microstructural gray matter (GM) damage especially when involving the deep GM structures. In this study, we aimed at evaluating whether differences in cortical and deep GM structures between apparently cognitively normal (ACN) and CI pwMS (36 subjects in total) are present, using an extensive set of diffusion MRI (dMRI) indices and conventional morphometry measures. The results revealed increased anisotropy and restriction over several deep GM structures in CI compared with ACN pwMS, while no changes in volume were present in the same areas. Conversely, reduced anisotropy/restriction values were detected in cortical regions, mostly the pericalcarine cortex and precuneus, combined with reduced thickness of the superior frontal gyrus and insula. Most of the dMRI metrics but none of the morphometric indices correlated with the Symbol Digit Modality Test. These results suggest that deep GM microstructural damage can be a strong anatomical substrate of CI in pwMS and might allow identifying pwMS at higher risk of developing CI.
3D-SHORE
DTI
cognitive impairment
diffusion MRI
multiple sclerosis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1045685
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