Overcoming Issues With Access to MRIs, Resources in Care of Multiple Sclerosis: Robert Zivadinov, MD, PhD


The director of the Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center provide perspective on innovative ways to monitor progression in multiple sclerosis, and the importance of high-level care facilities. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 5 minutes

"While we focused on structural, biomarker, and cognitive differences in this first phase, we would like to also understand how the enriched environment seen in The Boston Home helps these people couple with their disease for whatever they have left."

MRI scans, the standard for tracking disease progression in multiple sclerosis (MS), can provide several benefits, including monitoring lesions in the brain and spinal cord, help determine the types of lesions, and help guide patient treatment decisions. Despite the expansion in therapeutics for MS, a subgroup of patients will develop rapid and progressive disability at a relatively young age. To learn more about the differences in severe MS, the CASA-MS study identified imaging, clinical, cognitive, and laboratory features of this disease subtype.

A collaboration between The Boston Home (TBH) and the University at Buffalo (UB), the study used several different techniques to capture these differences, including Simoa assays to describe neurofilament light and glial fibrillary acidic protein levels. Thalamic volume was acquired using the Deep Gray Rating via Artificial Intelligence method, while T2-FLAIR imaging was used to measure global brain atrophy and NeuroSTREAM software to collect left ventricular volume. For baseline brain volume analyses, FMRIB’s SIENAX software was used on 2D- and 3D-T1-weighted imaging, as available.

All told, this comprehensive assessment was one of the first studies to examine severely affected forms of MS with multi-faceted quantitative MRI and serum biomarkers of axonal loss. At the 2023 Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) Forum, held February 23-25, in San Diego, California, lead investigator Robert Zivadinov, MD, PhD, sat down to discuss access to resources that monitor MS disease progression, along with ways to get around limitations to unavailable techniques. Zivadinov, director of the Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center, also stressed the importance of high-quality, long-term care shown in TBH that can enrich patient experience.

Click here for more 2023 ACTRIMS Forum content.

1. Zivadinov R, Jakimovski D, Burnham A, et al. Comprehensive assessment of severely affected multiple sclerosis (CASA-MS) study. Presented at: 2023 ACTRIMS Forum; February 23-25. San Diego, CA. Abstract P430
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