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Magnetic resonance spectroscopy of normal appearing white matter in early relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: correlations between disability and spectroscopy

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Author(s): Ruiz-Peña Juan Luis | Piñero Pilar | Sellers Guillermo | Argente Joaquín | Casado Alfredo | Foronda Jesus | Uclés Antonio | Izquierdo Guillermo

Journal: BMC Neurology
ISSN 1471-2377

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 8;
Date: 2004;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Background What currently appears to be irreversible axonal loss in normal appearing white matter, measured by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy is of great interest in the study of Multiple Sclerosis. Our aim is to determine the axonal damage in normal appearing white matter measured by magnetic resonance spectroscopy and to correlate this with the functional disability measured by Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite scale, Neurological Rating Scale, Ambulation Index scale, and Expanded Disability Scale Score. Methods Thirty one patients (9 male and 22 female) with relapsing remitting Multiple Sclerosis and a Kurtzke Expanded Disability Scale Score of 0–5.5 were recruited from four hospitals in Andalusia, Spain and included in the study. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy scans and neurological disability assessments were performed the same day. Results A statistically significant correlation was found (r = -0.38 p < 0.05) between disability (measured by Expanded Disability Scale Score) and N-Acetyl Aspartate (NAA/Cr ratio) levels in normal appearing white matter in these patients. No correlation was found between the NAA/Cr ratio and disability measured by any of the other disability assessment scales. Conclusions There is correlation between disability (measured by Expanded Disability Scale Score) and the NAA/Cr ratio in normal appearing white matter. The lack of correlation between the NAA/Cr ratio and the Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite score indicates that the Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite is not able to measure irreversible disability and would be more useful as a marker in stages where axonal damage is not a predominant factor.
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