Functional and magnetic resonance imaging correlates of callosal involvement in multiple sclerosis

Arch Neurol. 1993 Oct;50(10):1077-82. doi: 10.1001/archneur.1993.00540100066018.


To investigate functional and anatomical features of callosal involvement in multiple sclerosis (MS), performances of 90 patients with definite MS and 25 matched normal control subjects were compared on three tasks exploring interhemispheric transfer of auditory, sensory, and motor information: a verbal dichotic listening task, a crossed tactile finger localization task, and an alternate finger tapping task. Each patient also underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan (1) to appreciate the extent of white-matter changes by a semiquantitative evaluation of hemispheric brain MRI hyperintensities and (2) to measure the degree of total and regional callosal atrophy using an automatized method of partition of the midsagittal callosal area. Interhemispheric transfer and/or integration was impaired in patients with MS for all modalities explored and proportional to both degree of callosal atrophy and diffusion of white-matter lesions. Moreover, in good agreement with data obtained from partial commissurotomy studies, performance on each functional task was predominantly associated with atrophy of one part of the callosum, namely left-ear dichotic suppression with the posterior callosal region, alternate finger tapping with the anterior region, and cross-localization with midanterior and posterior regions. Finally, a subgroup of patients without MRI white-matter hyperintensities also showed significant impairment of callosal function and relative atrophy of the callosum. These findings suggest the potential clinical value of callosal involvement in MS and the usefulness of MS as a model of interhemispheric disconnection.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Atrophy
  • Brain Diseases / pathology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Corpus Callosum / pathology*
  • Dichotic Listening Tests
  • Female
  • Fingers / physiology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Multiple Sclerosis / pathology*
  • Neural Pathways
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Sensation