Topography of brain sodium accumulation in progressive multiple sclerosis

In this study from France, the researchers looked at sodium accumulation in people with progressive MS on a 3T MR scanner in 11 PPMS, 9 SPMS and 15 controls. The total sodium concentrations (TSC) were taken from grey matter (GM), normal-appearing white matter (WM) and lesions.

The researchers found that people with progressive MS had higher GM-TSC values and T2lesions-TSC values compared to GM and WM in controls. In PPMS they found that total TSC increases were associated with the motor and somatosensory cortices, prefrontal cortices, pons and cerebellum, while in SPMS increases in TSC were associated with the following areas: primary motor, premotor and somatosensory cortices, prefrontal, cingulate and visual cortices, the corpus callosum, thalami, brainstem and cerebellum. The anterior prefrontal and premotor cortices TSC correlated with disability. Overall, this study demonstrates that sodium accumulation is more widespread in SPMS, while in PPMS it appears to be more restricted to the motor system. This raises the possibility of local sodium accumulation as a potential marker for monitoring people with progressive MS.

Authors: Maarouf A, Audoin B
Source: MAGMA. 2013 Aug 3. [Epub ahead of print]

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