Paola Valsasina1, Maria A. Rocca1, Massimiliano Copetti2, Domenico Caputo3, Martina Absinta1, Massimo Filippi1
1Neuroimaging Research Unit, Institute of Experimental Neurology, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, MI, Italy; 2Department of Biostatistics, IRCCS Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza, San Giovanni Rotondo, FG, Italy; 3Department of Neurology, Scientific Institute Fondazione Don Gnocchi, Milan, Mi, Italy
Aim of this study was to investigate, in 87 patients with multiple sclerosis, the association between cervical cord functional MRI activity during a tactile stimulation and brain and cord structural damage. Patients had an higher cervical cord recruitment than that of 22 matched healthy controls. Cord activity was correlated with brain grey matter atrophy, whereas no correlation was found with cervical cord structural damage. This finding suggests that a loss of supraspinal inhibition secondary to brain injury might contribute to explain the observed functional cord abnormalities in MS.