MRI studies of multiple sclerosis: implications for the natural history of the disease and for monitoring effectiveness of experimental therapies.

H. F. McFarland, L. A. Stone, P. A. Calabresi, H. Maloni, C. N. Bash, J. A. Frank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in multiple sclerosis (MS) has increased in our understanding of the natural history of the disease course and has provided and important tool for the analysis of new experimental therapies. Studies using MRI as well as pathological studies of MS indicate that the first event in the development of a new MS lesion as seen on T2 weighted images is disruption of the blood brain barrier (BBBD) which can be demonstrated by areas of increased signal on T1 weighted images done after the administration of gadolinium DTPA. When GdDTPA enhanced MRIs are used to monitor disease activity in patients with mild relapsing remitting MS, a considerable degree of disease activity is observed in clinically stable patients. These findings indicate that MS is an active and progressive disease in most patients even during the earliest phases of the disease and before significant clinical disability has occurred. MRI is also an important tool in evaluating new therapies. Using simple baseline vs treatment designs evidence for an effect of a new treatment on MRI parameters such as Gd-DTPA enhanced measure of BBBD can be achieved using a small study cohort and over a short duration. Together these advances should lead to more rapid progress in the understanding of MS and in identifying new treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-205
Number of pages8
JournalMultiple sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England)
Volume2
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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