The Link Between Brain Structure and Cognitive Performance in Elders With MS: Dejan Jakimovski, MD, PhD

The research assistant professor at the Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center discussed a recently awarded grant to determine which brain structures are responsible for cognitive decline in patients with multiple sclerosis. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

"In the past several years, we have looked into more cognitive domains in multiple sclerosis and examining them both in young and old patients with MS. What we initially saw is that in addition to the cognitive processing speed impairment—which was already established in the literature—we saw an increase in verbal fluency deficits, specifically found in our aging population."

As modern medicine continues to advance and the natural age of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) continues to increase, more of them are experiencing cognitive decline. This loss, however, may not be fully attributable to MS, but instead by other underlying conditions such as Alzheimer disease. Research led by Dejan Jakimovski, MD, PhD, aims at understanding the relevant brain regions being affected, which may help clinicians diagnose and potentially predict an individual’s risk for cognitive decline.

Jakimovski, a research assistant professor in the department of neurology at the Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC), was recently awarded a pilot research grant by the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) to determine which brain structures are responsible for specific types of cognitive decline in a cohort of 100 aging patients with MS. He and his team will analyze the anatomical features of decline, and certain gray matter structures, including the thickness of cortical areas and the volume of deep gray matter nuclei. They will then assess the relationship between those features and different cognitive domains.

NeurologyLive® caught up with Jakimovski to understand the origins of this research and what he and his colleagues had previously found. He also provided context on how the grant will be used and which specific domains will be evaluated.

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