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Brain volume loss is driven by grey matter atrophy in MS patients treated with Tysabri

Brain volume loss in multiple sclerosis (MS) is primarily driven by grey matter changes and may be independent of clinically effective treatment, a new study reports.

Brain volume loss is an important surrogate marker for assessing disability in MS. However, researchers felt contribution of grey and white matter to the whole brain volume loss needed further examination in the context of specific MS treatment.

A team set out to examine whole and segmented grey, white, thalamic and corpus callosum volume loss in stable patients receiving natalizumab, otherwise known as Tysabri, for two to five years. The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Twenty patients underwent treatment with natalizumab for 24-68 months. Over a mean of 36.6 months, median percent brain volume change was 2%. There was a decline in grey, but not white matter, and thalamic but not corpus callosum volume. Grey matter loss correlated with brain volume change, but not white matter.

Age significantly influenced whole brain volume loss, but disease duration and baseline T2 lesion volume did not. There was also no change in T1 relaxation values of lesions or T2 lesion volume over time. All patients remained clinically stable.

Researchers concluded that these results ‘demonstrate that brain volume loss in MS is primarily driven by grey matter changes and may be independent of clinically effective treatment.’

Source: MS-UK, 18/01/2019

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