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Abstract #0020

Changes in structural network connectivity in early-stage multiple sclerosis are associated with cortical demyelination

Atef Badji1,2, Gabriel Mangeat1,3, Russell Ouellette3,4, Constantina Andrada Treaba3,4, Tobias Granberg3,4,5, Elena Herranz3,4, Celine Louapre3,4, Nikola Stikov1,6, Jacob Sloane4,7, Pierre Bellec 2, Caterina Mainero3,4, and Julien Cohen-Adad1,2

1NeuroPoly Lab, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Polytechnique Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada, 2Functional Neuroimaging Unit, CRIUGM, Université de Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada, 3Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, MGH, 4Harvard Medical School, 5Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Karolinska Institutet, 6Montreal Health Institute, 7Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Cortical disruption and changes in brain connectomics in multiple sclerosis have been recently investigated; however, the relationship between both processes in early disease remains uncertain. We propose an integrative framework that combines diffusion-based graph theory with high-resolution quantitative T1 and T2* at 7 Tesla to investigate the topological alterations of both structural connectomics and cortical demyelination. We found that both cortical myelin loss and increase in brain connectivity were present in early MS, and that the two processes were spatially anti-correlated. This suggests that the increase in brain connectivity in early MS could represent an adaptative role against initial, mild cortical demyelination, though this would be lost with more severe cortical disease.

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