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Abstract #1989

Multi-shell diffusion imaging is a sensitive marker for longitudinal axonal degeneration in multiple sclerosis

Nicola Toschi1,2, Silvia De Santis3,4, Tobias Granberg2,5,6, Russel Ouellette IV2,5, Constantina Andrada Treaba2, Elena Herranz2, Qiuyun Fan2, and Caterina Mainero2

1Biomedicine and Prevention, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy, 2Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States, 3CSIC-UMH, Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante, Alicante, Spain, 4Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC), Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom, 5Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Solna, Sweden, 6Department of Radiology, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden

Axonal loss, a crucial pathological process in multiple sclerosis (MS), can be disentangled non-invasively by the CHARMED diffusion model. 8 early MS subjects were scanned at baseline and after 1 year follow-up. At follow-up, TBSS analysis showed statistically significant changes (decrease in FR/FA, increase in MD) compared to baseline in widespread brain regions. The most extensive change was evident in FR, which also showed the greatest sensitivity, especially in areas of fiber-crossing. FR was the only index which detected longitudinal change in axonal density in lesions and therefore holds promise as a biomarker for early diagnosis and disease-monitoring purposes.

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