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Abstract #1185

Cervical cord resting-state fMRI shows preserved functional connectivity in low disability relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis

Anna Combes1,2, Baxter P. Rogers1,2, Mereze Visagie2, Kristin P. O'Grady1,2, Richard D. Lawless2,3, Sanjana Satish2, Atlee Witt2, Shekinah Malone4, Colin D. McKnight2, Francesca R. Bagnato5, John C. Gore1,2,3, and Seth A. Smith1,2,3
1Radiology & Radiological Sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, United States, 2Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science, Nashville, TN, United States, 3Department of Biomedical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, United States, 4School of Medicine, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN, United States, 5Clinical Neurology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, United States

Functional connectivity (FC) in the cervical spinal cord can be assessed with 3T resting-state fMRI. FC strength in the ventral and dorsal networks was measured in a group of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with low disability, high cervical lesion load, and mildly impaired sensorimotor function and was found similar to matched healthy controls. There was no impact of the presence of cord lesions, suggesting FC is preserved even in the presence of structural damage. Future work will explore the longitudinal trajectories of cord FC in support of intact or impaired sensorimotor function in MS.

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