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Blacks with MS have more severe symptoms, decline faster than whites, new study shows
Date:2/5/2010

signs and symptoms of MS among populations have shown that blacks experience gait problems sooner after their diagnosis, show faster cognitive decline than whites with MS, and become dependent on a wheelchair sooner, she notes.

The study's MRI scans were conducted at the Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC), part of the Jacobs Neurological Institute/UB Department of Neurology. Robert Zivadinov, MD, PhD, a UB associate professor of neurology, is director of the center.

Seventy-nine black patients and 488 white patients were entered in the study. Participants were older than 18 and had been scanned within 90 days of their most recent clinical visit. Black participants were significantly younger, and their disease was more severe than white patients, despite having MS for a shorter amount of time.

"Results of the MRI scans showed that the aggressive disease process in blacks appears to be associated with increased macroscopic and microscopic tissue damage, as measured by specific MRI parameters," says Weinstock-Guttman.

"Based on our MRI findings, a plausible hypothesis that would explain the more aggressive disease in blacks compared to whites with MS may be that blacks have a reduced capacity for remyelination, the brain's ability to repair the protective myelin sheath. However, to confirm this hypothesis, we will need to conduct more longitudinal studies."


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Contact: Lois Baker
ljbaker@buffalo.edu
716-645-4606
University at Buffalo
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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