Hemodynamic evidence linking cognitive deficits in clinically isolated syndrome to regional brain inflammation

Eur J Neurol. 2014 Mar;21(3):499-505. doi: 10.1111/ene.12338. Epub 2013 Dec 26.


Background and purpose: To investigate the relation between hemodynamic measurements and memory function in patients with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS).

Methods: Forty CIS patients were administered tests of verbal short-term/working memory and passage learning. Using dynamic susceptibility contrast MRI cerebral blood volume (CBV), cerebral blood flow and mean transit time values were estimated in 20 cerebral regions of interest, placed in normal appearing white matter (NAWM) and normal appearing deep gray matter structures, bilaterally.

Results: CIS patients showed significantly impaired scores on working memory and secondary verbal memory that correlated inversely with elevated CBV values in the left frontal and periventricular NAWM, thalamus, right caudate and corpus callosum.

Conclusions: Verbal memory in CIS correlates inversely with elevated CBV values of brain structures involved in memory. As these hemodynamic changes, detected in CIS, are indicative of inflammation, the observed cognitive disturbances may relate to widespread brain inflammatory processes that prevail in early multiple sclerosis.

Keywords: hemodynamics; memory; multiple sclerosis; neuropsychological assessment; perfusion MRI.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology*
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Encephalitis / complications*
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / diagnosis
  • Memory Disorders / etiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Perfusion
  • Young Adult