Background: The 'normal appearing white matter' in MS, i.e. the areas without visible lesions, is known to be diffusely abnormal using special MRI techniques.
Results: Using a new stronger high-field MRI the investigators identified numerous lesions that were not detectable in areas of 'normal appearing white matter' as seen using conventional MRI.
Conclusions: Focal MS lesions contribute to the abnormalities known to exist in the 'normal appearing white matter'.
"This study shows that using better technology MS pathology is more widespread than what we can see using conventional MRI. This is not surprising as this has been known for decades from pathological studies; i.e. many more MS lesions are found using a microscope than can be seen with the naked eye."