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Table 1 Selected works studying grey matter changes and their relations to physical and cognitive impairment in MS

From: Clinical correlates of grey matter pathology in multiple sclerosis

Study Patients Follow-up (years) MRI measures Main outcomes
Dalton et al., 2004 [11] 58 CIS 3 GMF Decrease in GMF was higher in patients who converted to CDMS (-3.3%) than in those who did not (-1.1%).
Fisher et al., 2008 [12] 7 CIS 36 RRMS 27 SPMS 17 HC 4 BPF, GMF, WMF GMF decrease was more pronounced in patients compared to HC: CIS converting to RRMS, 3.4×; RRMS, 8.1×; RRMS converting to SPMS, 12.4×; SPMS, 14×. WMF decrease was 3× higher in all patient sub-groups than in HC.
Fisniku et al., 2008 [36] 29 CIS 33 RRMS 11 SPMS 25 HC 20/cross-sectional GMF, GMV WMF GMF but not WMF correlated with EDSS (r = 0.48) and MSFC sub-scores (r = 0.59).
Horakova et al., 2009 [102] 170 RRMS 5 GMV, PBVC Decline in PBVC and GMV were the strongest MRI predictors of disability progression.
Calabrese et al., 2009 [30] 48 PPMS 2 GMF, cortical lesions (volume, count) Baseline volume of cortical lesions correlated with EDSS (r = 0.48) and its change over 2 years (r = 0.38).
Calabrese et al., 2011 [96] 105 CIS 42 HC 4 Regional atrophy Atrophy of the superior frontal gyrus, thalamus, and cerebellum predicted independently conversion from CIS to CDMS.
Roosendaal et al., 2011 [55] 95 CIS 657 RRMS 125 SPMS 50 PPMS cross-sectional GMV GMV was lower in SPMS than RRMS, and was the strongest independent predictor of physical disability and cognitive impairment.
Amato et al., 2004 [40] 41 RRMS 16 HC cross-sectional GMV Cortical atrophy was found in cognitively impaired but not in cognitively preserved patients, and was correlated with a poorer performance on tests of verbal memory, attention, and verbal fluency.
Amato et al., 2007 [101] 28 RR MS 2.5 GMV, NCV PBVC Decrease in cortical volume was significantly higher in cognitively deteriorating than in stable or improving patients (-43 ml vs. -18 ml).
Tekok-Kilic et al., 2007 [68] 59 CDMS cross-sectional GMF Frontal atrophy was associated with impaired memory (auditory/verbal, visual episodic and working).
Houtchens et al., 2007 [161] 62 RR MS 16 SP MS 1 PP MS 16 HC cross-sectional thalamic volume Thalamic volume was 17% lower in the MS group than in HC, and was associated with impaired cognitive performance (r = 0.51-0.72) and physical disability (r = 0.32).
Calabrese et al., 2009 [37] 70 RR MS cross-sectional cortical lesions NCV Higher number and volume of cortical lesions and lower volume of neocortical grey matter were seen in cognitively impaired vs. cognitively preserved patients.
  1. BPF, brain parenchymal fraction; CDMS, clinically definite multiple sclerosis; CIS, clinically isolated syndrome; EDSS, Expanded Disability Status Scale; GMF, grey matter fraction; GMV, grey matter volume; HC, healthy controls; MS, multiple sclerosis; MSFC, Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite; NCV, normalised cortical volume; PBVC, percentage brain volume change; RRMS, relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis; SPMS, secondary progressive multiple sclerosis; WMF, white matter fraction