Grey Matter Loss is associated with more disability but beta interferon can affect this

Fisher E, Nakamura K, Lee JC, You X, Sperling B, Rudick RA.
Mult Scler. 2015 Aug 3. pii: 1352458515599072. [Epub ahead of print]Effect of intramuscular interferon beta-1a on gray matter atrophy in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: A retrospective analysis.

BACKGROUND:Changes in gray matter (GM) volume may be a useful measure of tissue loss in multiple sclerosis (MS).
OBJECTIVES:To investigate the rate, patterns, and disability correlates of GM volume change in an MS treatment clinical trial.
METHODS: Patients (n=140) with relapsing-remitting MS were randomized to intramuscular (IM) interferon (IFN) beta-1a or placebo. Treatment effects on GM fraction (GMF) and white matter (WM) fraction (WMF) changes, differences in rates of GMF and WMF change in year one and two on treatment, and differences in atrophy rates by disease progression status were assessed retrospectively.
RESULTS:Significantly less GM atrophy (during year two), but not WM atrophy (at any point), was observed with IM IFN beta-1a compared with placebo. Pseudoatrophy effects were more apparent in WM than in GM; in year one, greater WM volume loss was observed with IM IFN beta-1a than with placebo, whereas GM volume loss was similar between groups. Risk of sustained disability progression was significantly associated with GM, but not WM, atrophy.
CONCLUSIONS:These results suggest that GMF change is more meaningful than WMF as a marker of tissue loss and may be useful to augment whole brain atrophy measurements in MS clinical trials

This study suggests that grey matter shrinkage may be a marker of tissue loss and disability and that interferons can perhaps slow brain shrinkage down. That there is pseudo atrophy suggests that the interferons are getting rid of the swelling caused by the MS.

COI: For me none but Prof Rudik has gone to the dark side:-) and is with pharma who make beta interferon.

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  • I do not know but I look this research with some "suspicion" … I do not know, but if Interferons can not prevent the loss of white brain matter and could prevent the loss of gray matter? If hypothetically I am having white matter loss probably have gray matter, or not?

    • if there isgrey matter loss i would think white matter loss occurs also. remember there are lots of way that volume can be filled with fluid astrogliosis etc

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