1FMRIB Centre, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom; 2Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences, King's College London, London, United Kingdom; 3Clinical Neurology, Oxford University and Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust, Oxford, United Kingdom; 4Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, United States
Critical need exists for a sensitive and specific biomarker in primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS), which features diffuse neuronal and myelin damage. This study explored estimates of myelin water fraction (MWF) as such a biomarker. Sixteen PPMS patients were imaged using the mcDESPOT multi-component relaxometry technique, and correlations between MWF estimates and clinical disability scores were investigated. We found significant negative correlation between MWF and EDSS scores across diffuse brain regions. Correlations between MWF and specific scores of bladder/bowel, mental and sensory functions were found in appropriate brain regions. Findings support the emerging relevance of MWF changes to clinical manifestations.