Study Reveals How Brain Organization Changes in Progressive MS
A recent study conducted by a BNAC research team led by Alexander Bartnik, a Ph.D. candidate, showed that, in people with multiple sclerosis, the brain networks involved in more complex thinking were more impaired than networks related to basic senses, like vision and hearing.
The study sought to learn how the brain's sophisticated networks change over time in people with MS, a disease known to damage the brain's structure. The team studied 72 individuals with MS and 50 healthy people, using different types of brain scans.
They focused on networks in the brain that are active when a person is not doing any specific tasks. By comparing the connections within and between these networks in MS participants to those in healthy individuals, the researchers looked at how the connections changed. The study was designed to reveal whether or not changes in brain connectivity were related to the damage caused by MS, and revealed that functional connections – the way brain regions work together – were more affected by structural pathology in more “complex” networks.
This research contributes to a better understanding of MS-related brain changes and could have implications for developing targeted interventions to preserve and optimize brain function in individuals with progressive MS.
The study was detailed in an article published by Oxford University Press.
Researchers: Alexander Bartnik, Tom A Fuchs, Kira Ashton, Amy Kuceyeski, Xian Li, Matthew Mallory, Devon Oship, Niels Bergsland, PhD, Deepa Ramasamy, Dejan Jakimovski, MD, PhD, Ralph H B Benedict, Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, Robert Zivadinov MD, PhD, Michael G Dwyer, PhD