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FLAIR lesion volume in multiple sclerosis: Relation to processing speed and verbal memory

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 April 2005

JOHN J. RANDOLPH
Affiliation:
Brain Imaging Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, New Hampshire
HEATHER A. WISHART
Affiliation:
Brain Imaging Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, New Hampshire
ANDREW J. SAYKIN
Affiliation:
Brain Imaging Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, New Hampshire Department of Radiology, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, New Hampshire
BRENNA C. MCDONALD
Affiliation:
Brain Imaging Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, New Hampshire
KIMBERLY R. SCHUSCHU
Affiliation:
Brain Imaging Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, New Hampshire
JOHN W. MACDONALD
Affiliation:
Brain Imaging Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, New Hampshire
ALEXANDER C. MAMOURIAN
Affiliation:
Department of Radiology, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, New Hampshire
CAMILO E. FADUL
Affiliation:
Section of Neurology, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, New Hampshire
KATHLEEN A. RYAN
Affiliation:
Section of Neurology, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, New Hampshire
LLOYD H. KASPER
Affiliation:
Section of Neurology, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, New Hampshire

Abstract

Information processing speed and episodic memory are two commonly affected cognitive abilities in MS. Insights into the mechanisms of and relationships between these abilities have recently come from structural neuroimaging techniques, but few studies have used fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR), a neuroimaging sequence known to be sensitive to cortical and juxtacortical lesions in MS. We hypothesized that a volumetric index of FLAIR total lesion volume (TLV) would be associated with slowed processing speed and verbal memory dysfunction in MS. Twenty MS patients underwent FLAIR imaging and were administered measures of verbal memory and processing speed. Correlational and regression analyses indicated that TLV was directly and independently related to measures of processing speed and verbal memory, and TLV accounted for 56% of the variance in cognitive performance. These findings, considered in the context of prior work, suggest that FLAIR TLV is a useful predictor of commonly impaired cognitive functions in MS, and shows promise as a functionally relevant biomarker for disease status. (JINS, 2005, 11, 205–209.)

Type
BRIEF COMMUNICATION
Copyright
© 2005 The International Neuropsychological Society

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