Combining tractography and cortical measures to test system-specific hypotheses in multiple sclerosis.


Gorgoraptis, N; Wheeler-Kingshott, CA; Jenkins, TM; Altmann, DR; Miller, DH; Thompson, A; Ciccarelli, O; (2010) Combining tractography and cortical measures to test system-specific hypotheses in multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England). ISSN 1352-4585 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1352458510362440

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Abstract

The objective was to test three motor system-specific hypotheses in multiple sclerosis patients: (i) corticospinal tract and primary motor cortex imaging measures differ between multiple sclerosis patients and controls; (ii) in patients, these measures correlate with disability; (iii) in patients, corticospinal tract measures correlate with measures of the ipsilateral primary motor cortex.Eleven multiple sclerosis patients with a history of hemiparesis attributable to a lesion within the contralateral corticospinal tract, and 12 controls were studied. We used two advanced imaging techniques: (i) diffusion-based probabilistic tractography, to obtain connectivity and fractional anisotropy of the corticospinal tract; and (ii) FreeSurfer, to measure volume, thickness, surface area, and curvature of precentral and paracentral cortices. Differences in these measures between patients and controls, and relationships between each other and to clinical scores, were investigated.Patients showed lower corticospinal tract fractional anisotropy and smaller volume and surface area of the precentral gyrus than controls. In patients, corticospinal tract connectivity and paracentral cortical volume, surface area, and curvature were lower with increasing disability; lower connectivity of the affected corticospinal tract was associated with greater surface area of the ipsilateral paracentral cortex.Corticospinal tract connectivity and new measures of the primary motor cortex, such as surface area and curvature, reflect the underlying white and grey matter damage that contributes to disability. The correlation between lower connectivity of the affected corticospinal tract and greater surface area of the ipsilateral paracentral cortex suggests the possibility of cortical adaptation. Combining tractography and cortical measures is a useful approach in testing hypotheses which are specific to clinically relevant functional systems in multiple sclerosis, and can be applied to other neurological diseases.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Medical Statistics
PubMed ID: 20215478
Web of Science ID: 277837200008
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/4006

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