University of Oulu

Niiranen, M., Koikkalainen, J., Lötjönen, J., Selander, T., Cajanus, A., Hartikainen, P., Simula, S., Vanninen, R., & Remes, A. M. (2022). Grey matter atrophy in patients with benign multiple sclerosis. Brain and Behavior, 12(7).

Grey matter atrophy in patients with benign multiple sclerosis

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Author: Niiranen, Marja1; Koikkalainen, Juha2; Lötjönen, Jyrki2;
Organizations: 1Neuro Center, Neurology, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland
2Combinostics Ltd, Tampere, Finland
3Science Service Center, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland
4Institute of Clinical Medicine – Neurology, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
5Department of Neurology, Mikkeli Central Hospital, Mikkeli, Finland
6Institute of Clinical Medicine – Radiology, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
7Department of Radiology, Imaging Center, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland
8Unit of Clinical Neuroscience, Neurology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
9Medical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-02-01


Background: Brain atrophy appears during the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS) and is associated with the disability caused by the disease.

Methods: We investigated global and regional grey matter (GM) and white matter (WM) volumes, WM lesion load, and corpus callosum index (CCI), in benign relapsing-remitting MS (BRRMS, n = 35) with and without any treatment and compared those to aggressive relapsing-remitting MS (ARRMS, n = 46). Structures were analyzed by using an automated MRI quantification tool (cNeuro®).

Results: The total brain and cerebral WM volumes were larger in BRRMS than in ARRMS (p = .014, p = .017 respectively). In BRRMS, total brain volumes, regional GM volumes, and CCI were found similar whether or not disease-modifying treatment (DMT) was used. The total (p = .033), as well as subcortical (p = .046) and deep WM (p = .041) lesion load volumes were larger in BRRMS patients without DMT. Cortical GM volumes did not differ between BRRMS and ARRMS, but the volumes of total brain tissue (p = .014) and thalami (p = .003) were larger in patients with BRRMS compared to ARRMS. A positive correlation was found between CCI and whole-brain volume in both BRRMS (r = .73, p < .001) and ARRMS (r = .80, p < .01).

Conclusions: Thalamic volume is the most prominent measure to differentiate BRRMS and ARRMS. Validation of automated quantification of CCI provides an additional applicable MRI biomarker to detect brain atrophy in MS.

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Series: Brain and behavior
ISSN: 2162-3279
ISSN-E: 2162-3279
ISSN-L: 2162-3279
Volume: 12
Issue: 7
Article number: e2679
DOI: 10.1002/brb3.2679
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3124 Neurology and psychiatry
Funding: This work was supported by research grants from The Finnish Cultural Foundation and Kuopio University Hospital.
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.