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Early Brain Changes in MS Revealed by New MRI Techniques

Progressive changes within the brain occur earlier in multiple sclerosis than previously supposed, according to a study presented October 4, 2004, at the 129th annual meeting of the American Neurological Association. Using sophisticated variations on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques, researchers described changes that appear in the first years of the disease, while disability is still minimal.

"The study showed that subtle abnormalities in the brain were steadily increasing during the first five years of multiple sclerosis, possibly reflecting changes to nerve fibers and their surrounding myelin sheathes," said Dr. Gerard Davies of the Institute of Neurology in London, lead author of the report.

Davies and colleagues also report preliminary evidence that the abnormalities may even pre-date the appearance of symptoms of the disorder.

More here.

October 4, 2004 in research | Permalink