Bruce Trapp, PhD: Insights Gleaned from Myelocortical Multiple Sclerosis


The chairman of the Department of Neuroscience at the Lerner Research Institute spoke about what the implications of the new subtype of MS could be in the understanding of the disease.

“This supports the concept that neurodegeneration and demyelination can be independent events in MS. It’s not a new concept—but this is probably the first pathological evidence to support that.”

In August 2018, a group of Cleveland Clinic researcher published a paper in The Lancet, identifying a new possible subtype of multiple sclerosis (MS), which they dubbed myelocortical MS. It is characterized by demyelination of the spinal cord and cerebral cortex, without that of the cerebral white matter.1

Led by Bruce Trapp, PhD, chairman, Department of Neuroscience, Lerner Research Institute, the group of researchers collected brains and spinal cords from 100 deceased patients with MS from May 1998 to November 2012. In total, 12 of these individuals were identified as lacking cerebral white matter demyelination, and therefore myelocortical MS. They were compared to a matching group of 12 patients with typical MS.

At the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC), May 28-June 1, in Seattle, Washington, Trapp gave a presentation on what they had learned since then and detailing their original findings. To find out more, NeurologyLive sat with Trapp, and spoke about the new MS subtype.

For more coverage of CMSC 2019, click here.


1. Trapp BT, Vignos M, Dudman J, et al. Cortical neuronal densities and cerebral white matter demyelination in multiple sclerosis: a retrospective study. Lancet Neurol. Epub August 21, 2018. doi:10.1016/ S1474-4422(18)30245-X.

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