Gray matter (GM) damage is an important pathophysiological feature in Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and may be related to clinical, including cognitive, deficits. Quantitative single-voxel (1)H-Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (TR/TE 6000/20 ms) was performed in 33 MS patients (11 per disease subtype; mean age 48 years, 16 females) and 10 healthy controls (mean age 43 years, 7 females). No overall spectroscopic changes were found in MS cortex. In MS thalamus, a 9% decrease of N-acetyl aspartate (NAA; P=0.005) and a 31% increase of myo-inositol (Ins; P=0.002) were found. A 21% Ins increase was observed (P=0.02) in MS hippocampus. Reduced NAA and increased Ins concentrations are thought to reflect neuro-axonal damage or loss and gliosis, respectively. Significant correlations between Ins concentrations and total-brain T(2) lesion load were found for MS thalamus (r=0.65, P<0.001) and hippocampus (r=0.57, P=0.001). MS thalamic and hippocampal Ins concentrations also correlated with each other (r=0.68; P<0.001). Cortical Gln correlated with thalamic NAA (r=-0.38; P=0.03) in MS. Thalamic and hippocampal Ins increases were most prominent in secondary-progressive (SP) patients (37% and 34%, respectively), whereas the largest thalamic NAA decrease (14%) was found in primary-progressive (PP) patients. In conclusion, thalamic and hippocampal GM pathology are important features of (progressive) MS.
Magn Reson Med, 2006. (c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.