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Number, Location, Size of Lesions on MRI Can Predict Progression to MS

Brain lesions predict the course of multiple sclerosis.

The number, location, and size of lesions can help predict the risk of progression from clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) to multiple sclerosis (MS) within one year, a new study shows.

The study, “MRI in predicting conversion to multiple sclerosis within 1 year,” was published in the journal Brain and Behavior.

Most patients diagnosed with MS initially present with CIS. In 50-70% of patients, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is taken at the time of CIS diagnosis, and it usually reveals multiple white matter brain lesions that suggest the presence of demyelination (or myelin loss, the process that underlies the pathology of MS).

Studies have shown that in about 30% of patients with an abnormal MRI scan, a second clinical attack, or a change in MRI occurs within one year, confirming the diagnosis of MS. But long-term studies have shown that up to 20% of patients do not have another clinical attack for at least 20 years.

This wide clinical spectrum puts physicians and patients in a situation of uncertainty at the time of disease presentation, as guidelines suggest that early treatment is the key to slowing the progression of MS.

So, researchers set out to identify the MRI characteristics of patients at first presentation that would predict either a second clinical episode or conversion to MS within the first year.

For this purpose, researchers assessed the medical records of 46 individuals who presented with an episode of CIS, and who were followed both clinically and through imaging for a year.

Read on: Number, Location, Size of Lesions on MRI Can Predict Progression to MS

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