Benedetta Bodini1, Mara Cercignani2, Zhaleh Khaleeli1, Sophie Penny3,4, Maria Ron5, David H. Miller5, Alan J. Thompson1, Olga Ciccarelli1
1NMR Unit, Department of Brain Repair and Rehabilitation, UCL Institute of Neurology, London, United Kingdom; 2Neuroimaging Laboratory, IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, Rome, Italy; 3NMR Unit, Department of Neuroinflammation, UCL Institute of Neurology , London, United Kingdom; 4Department of Psychology, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London, United Kingdom; 5NMR Unit, Department of Neuroinflammation, UCL Institute of Neurology, London, United Kingdom
The aim of this study was to identify which brain area predicts the development of disability over five years and cognitive dysfunction after five years in 32 patients with early primary-progressive multiple sclerosis. Employing tract-based spatial statistics and voxel-based morphometry, we found that lower fractional anisotropy in the corpus callosum at study entry predicted a greater progression of disability, as measured by the EDSS, over the follow-up, and worse verbal memory, attention and speed of information processing, and executive functions, after five years. Our findings highlight the importance of damage to the inter-hemispheric callosal pathways in determining disability in MS.