Maria A. Rocca1, Martina Absinta1, Maria Pia Amato2, Angelo Ghezzi3, Lucia Moiola4, Agnese Fiorino4, Pierangelo Veggiotti5, Giancarlo Comi4, Massimo Filippi1, and the MS and Neuroimaging Study Groups of the Italian Neurological Society6
1Neuroimaging Research Unit, Institute of Experimental Neurology, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, MI, Italy; 2Department of Neurology, University of Florence, Florence, FI, Italy; 3MS Centre, Ospedale di Gallarate, Gallarate, VA, Italy; 4Department of Neurology, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, MI, Italy; 5Child Neurology Unit, National Neurological Institute C. Mondino, Pavia, PV, Italy; 6SIN, Siena, SI, Italy
We combined structural and functional MRI techniques to improve our understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the presence and severity of cognitive impairment in 35 patients with pediatric multiple sclerosis (MS). We found that in pediatric MS patients, cognitive dysfunction is associated to structural and functional abnormalities of core regions of the default mode network located in the posterior brain, particularly the precuneus. Increased resting state functional connectivity of regions located in the frontal lobe might compensate for such a dysfunction and contribute to cognitive preservation.