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Abstract #0019

7T Quantitative Magnetization Transfer (qMT) of Cortical Gray Matter in Multiple Sclerosis Correlates with Cognitive Disability

Lydia McKeithan1,2, Bailey D. Lyttle2,3, Bailey A. Box2,3, Kristin P. O'Grady2,3, Richard D. Dortch1,2,3, Benjamin N. Conrad2, and Seth A. Smith1,2,3,4

1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, United States, 2Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, 3Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, 4Department of Opthamology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN

Cognitive impairment (CI) is a major manifestation of multiple sclerosis (MS) and is responsible for extensively hindering patient quality of life.1 Cortical gray matter damage is critical to CI, but is poorly characterized by conventional MRI. We employed advanced methods by evaluating SIR-qMT-derived indices for differences between MS patients and healthy volunteers at 7T and derived associations with neuropsychological measures of cognitive impairment. We found significant reduction in kmf in cGM of MS patients, unique association with EDSS score, and strong correlation with cognitive performance indicating that kmf may be a significant biomarker of GM damage in MS.

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