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Sodium buildup in brain linked to disability in multiple sclerosis
Date:7/16/2012

lop techniques to perform 3T sodium MRI on patients," Dr. Zaaraoui said. "To better understand this disease, we need to probe new molecules. The time has come for probing brain sodium concentrations."

Using specially developed hardware and software, the researchers conducted sodium MRI on 26 MS patients, including 14 with early-stage RRMS (less than five years in duration) and 12 with advanced disease (longer than five years), and 15 age- and sex-matched control participants.

In the early-stage RRMS patients, sodium MRI revealed abnormally high concentrations of sodium in specific brain regions, including the brainstem, cerebellum and temporal pole. In the advanced-stage RRMS patients, abnormally high sodium accumulation was widespread throughout the whole brain, including normal appearing brain tissue.

"In RRMS patients, the amount of sodium accumulation in gray matter associated with the motor system was directly correlated to the degree of patient disability," Dr. Zaaraoui said.

Current treatments for MS are only able to slow the progress of the disease. The use of sodium accumulation as a biomarker of neuron degeneration may assist pharmaceutical companies in developing and assessing potential treatments.

"Brain sodium MR imaging can help us to better understand the disease and to monitor the occurrence of neuronal injury in MS patients and possibly in patients with other brain disorders," Dr. Ranjeva said.


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Contact: Linda Brooks
lbrooks@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
Source:Eurekalert

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