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Memory Performance and Normalized Regional Brain Volumes in Patients with Pediatric-Onset Multiple Sclerosis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 February 2012

Amanda Fuentes
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, York University, Toronto, Ontario
Donald Louis Collins
Affiliation:
McConnell Brain Imaging Center, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montreal, QC
Daniel Garcia-Lorenzo
Affiliation:
McConnell Brain Imaging Center, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montreal, QC
John G. Sled
Affiliation:
Research Institute, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario
Sridar Narayanan
Affiliation:
McConnell Brain Imaging Center, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montreal, QC
Douglas L. Arnold
Affiliation:
McConnell Brain Imaging Center, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montreal, QC
Brenda L. Banwell
Affiliation:
Research Institute, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario Division of Neurology, Department of Paediatrics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
Christine Till
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, York University, Toronto, Ontario Research Institute, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Studies in adults with multiple sclerosis (MS) have associated regional brain abnormalities with memory impairment. While memory problems in children with MS are often reported, little is known about the neural correlates that may contribute to these difficulties. We measured verbal and nonverbal memory using the Test of Memory and Learning (TOMAL-2) in 32 children and adolescents with MS and 26 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Memory performance was correlated with volumetric measures of the whole brain, hippocampus, amygdala, and thalamus. Brain volumes were normalized for age and sex using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data from the National Institutes of Health MRI Study of Normal Brain development. With the exception of story recall, performance on memory tests was similar to that of the control group. Relative to controls, patient with MS showed reduced volume in the whole brain (p < .001), amygdala (p < .005), and thalamus (p < .001), but not the hippocampus. In the patient group, word-list learning correlated with whole brain volume (r = .53) and hippocampal volume (r = .43), whereas visual recognition memory correlated with thalamic volume (r = .48). Findings are consistent with the well-established role of the hippocampus in learning and consolidation and also highlight the importance of diffuse brain pathology on memory function. (JINS, 2012, 18, 471–480)

Type
Research Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The International Neuropsychological Society 2012

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