Cortical lesions and cognitive impairment in multiple sclerosis

Neurol Sci. 2010 Nov;31(Suppl 2):S235-7. doi: 10.1007/s10072-010-0368-4.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory and degenerative disease of the central nervous system. In the last decade, pathological and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have shown that a significant portion of inflammatory lesions are located in the grey matter, especially in the cerebral cortex, of MS patients. Cortical inflammatory lesions (CL) can be demonstrated in vivo in MS patients by double inversion recovery (DIR) MRI sequence. Neuropsychological deficits constitute a major clinical aspect of MS, being demonstrated in a percentage ranging from 40 to 65% of patients, and have been shown to be associated with cortical demyelination and atrophy. Recent DIR studies in MS patients having different clinical forms of the disease have disclosed that CL burden not only correlates with the severity of physical disability, but is also one of the major structural changes associated with disease-related cognitive impairment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Atrophy / pathology
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology
  • Cognition Disorders / complications
  • Cognition Disorders / pathology*
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Multiple Sclerosis / complications
  • Multiple Sclerosis / pathology*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / physiopathology
  • Neuropsychological Tests