Thalamic atrophy without whole brain atrophy is associated with absence of 2-year NEDA in multiple sclerosis

Frontiers in Neurology

K. Hänninen, M. Viitala, T. Paavilainen, JO Karhu, J. Rinne, J. Koikkalainen, J. Lötjönen, M. Soilu-Hänninen

In this study, total and regional brain volumes in patients newly diagnosed with relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS; 6 months post-therapy initiation, 2 years thereafter) and in patients with secondary progressive MS (SPMS) were measured using SIENAX and cNeuro® cMRI. One of the aims was to determine if isolated thalamic atrophy at baseline correlates with no evidence of disease activity (NEDA) at 2 years. Other measures included z scores (compared with healthy controls), the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), and the Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT). There were no clinical differences between patients with and without thalamic atrophy; however, isolated thalamic atrophy was associated with greater risk of not reaching NEDA and increased EDSS. Measuring atrophy might help identify patients who could benefit from early administration of the most effective therapies.