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Thursday, February 11, 2016
MS Study Finds Lipid Antibodies Reflect Changes in Brain Volume and Lesions
FEBRUARY 10, 2016
Brigham and Women’s Hospital researchers reported that antibodies directed at lipids are associated with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures of brain degeneration in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), and may potentially serve as biomarkers for monitoring disease status.
While the hyperintense brain lesions detected by MRI are crucial for diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring, they have proven to be of little value in predicting disease progression. Measurements of brain atrophy might associate better with clinical status. Earlier studies have shown that atrophy in the brain’s gray matter is more closely linked to disease status than atrophy in its white matter, and that compartment-specific measures need to be used when analyzing disease progression.
The research team, led by Rohit Bakshi, recruited 21 patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), and measured 420 different antigens present in serum samples taken from them. The patients also underwent MRI scans to assess the gray matter and white matter regions, as well as total brain tissue volume. Finally, researchers investigated lesion load based on the MRI scans.