Thalamic lesions in multiple sclerosis by 7T MRI: Clinical implications and relationship to cortical pathology.
Harrison DM, Oh J, Roy S, Wood ET, Whetstone A, Seigo MA, Jones CK, Pham D, van Zijl P, Reich DS, Calabresi PA.
Mult Scler. 2015 Jan 12. pii: 1352458514558134. [Epub ahead of print]
OBJECTIVE: Pathology in both cortex and deep gray matter contribute to disability in multiple sclerosis (MS). We used the increased signal-to-noise ratio of 7-tesla (7T) MRI to visualize small lesions within the thalamus and to relate this to clinical information and cortical lesions.
METHODS: We obtained 7T MRI scans on 34 MS cases and 15 healthy volunteers. Thalamic lesion number and volume were related to demographic data, clinical disability measures, and lesions in cortical gray matter.
RESULTS: Thalamic lesions were found in 24/34 of MS cases. Two lesion subtypes were noted: discrete, ovoid lesions, and more diffuse lesional areas lining the periventricular surface. The number of thalamic lesions was greater in progressive MS compared to relapsing-remitting (mean ±SD, 10.7 ±0.7 vs. 3.0 ±0.7, respectively, p < 0.001). Thalamic lesion burden (count and volume) correlated with EDSS score and measures of cortical lesion burden, but not with white matter lesion burden or white matter volume.
CONCLUSIONS:Using 7T MRI allows identification of thalamic lesions in MS, which are associated with disability, progressive disease, and cortical lesions. Thalamic lesion analysis may be a simpler, more rapid estimate of overall gray matter lesion burden in MS.
In this study they looked in the the Thalamus
The thalamus is situated between the cerebral cortex and the midbrain. The thalamus has multiple functions. It may be thought of as a kind of switchboard of information. Some of its functions are the relaying of sensory and movement signals to the cerebral cortex, and the regulation of consciousness, sleep, and alertness. The two parts of the thalamus surround the third ventricle. In this study they found that lesions in this structure were more common in progressive MSers.