Research:Cognitive Impairment

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BACKGROUND:
Cognitive dysfunction in multiple sclerosis (MS) is frequent. Insight
into underlying mechanisms would help to develop therapeutic strategies.

OBJECTIVE:
To explore the relationship of cognitive performance to patterns of
nodal centrality derived from magneto-encephalography (MEG).

METHODS:
34 early relapsing-remitting MS patients (median EDSS 2.0) and 28 age-
and gender-matched healthy controls (HC) had a MEG, a neuropsychological
assessment and structural MRI.  A cognition-score was calculated, and
normalized grey and white matter volumes were determined.
RESULTS:
Patients had lower grey and white matter volumes than HC, male patients
had lower cognitive performance than female patients. Lower cognitive
performance correlated to decreased nodal centrality over left temporal
(lower alpha-band) and right temporal (beta-band) sensors, and to
increased nodal centrality over right parieto-temporal sensors
(beta-band). Network changes were most pronounced in male patients.

CONCLUSIONS:Partial
functional disconnection of the temporal regions was associated with
cognitive dysfunction in MS; increased centrality in parietal hubs may
reflect a shift from temporal to possibly less efficient parietal
processing. To better understand patterns and dynamics of these network
changes, longitudinal studies are warranted, also addressing the
influence of gender.

This
is a complex bit of terminology, if interested you may need to read the
article. However in a nutshell this study suggests that there is some
grey matter shrinkage in MSers with cognitive problems and males have
more cognitive problems than females. This may be reflected by changes
in neural networks that handle information, with compensation with using
other bits of the brain.

About the author

MouseDoctor

1 comment

  • The comment on gender is interesting…. A small study in men with ms has been carried out that gave them testosterone gel for a year. Cognition improved and atrophy was reduced. Worth a larger trial?

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