The purpose of this work was to determine whether changes in cholesterol profiles after interferon-β (IFN-β)1a treatment initiation following the first demyelinating event suggestive of multiple sclerosis are associated with clinical and MRI outcomes over 4 years. A group of 131 patients (age: 27.9 ± 7.8 years, 63% female) with serial 3-monthly clinical and 12-monthly MRI follow-ups over 4 years were investigated. Serum cholesterol profiles, including total cholesterol (TC), HDL cholesterol (HDL-C), and LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) were obtained at baseline, 1 month, 3 months, and every 6 months thereafter. IFN-β1a initiation caused rapid decreases in serum HDL-C, LDL-C, and TC within 1 month of IFN-β1a initiation (all P < 0.001) that returned slowly toward baseline. In predictive mixed model analyses, greater percent decreases in HDL-C after 3 months of IFN-β1a treatment initiation were associated with less brain atrophy over the 4 year time course, as assessed by percent brain volume change (P < 0.001), percent gray matter volume change (P < 0.001), and percent lateral ventricle volume change (P = 0.005). Decreases in cholesterol biomarkers following IFN-β1a treatment are associated with brain atrophy outcomes over 4 years. Pharmacological interventions targeting lipid homeostasis may be clinically beneficial for disrupting neurodegenerative processes.
Keywords: brain atrophy; cholesterol; magnetic resonance imaging.
Copyright © 2017 by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.