Promising Neuroimaging Biomarkers for Multiple Sclerosis: David Li, MD, FRCPC


The director of the Multiple Sclerosis/MRI Research Group at the University of British Columbia spoke to some of the newer biomarkers and measures being assessed in the clinical management of multiple sclerosis. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

“Another aspect of imaging which there is a lot of excitement about are some of the advanced measures. Several of my colleagues at [University of British Columbia] have been working on myelin-related measures of MR, which will allow us to look at myelin content, but more importantly, see what happens with treatments.”

In a conversation with NeurologyLive at the 2021 Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) Annual Meeting, October 25-28, David Li, MD, FRCPC, offered his insight into some of the ongoing efforts in MRI and neuroimaging advances that are being investigated in the clinical management of multiple sclerosis (MS). He specifically provided his perspective on some of the newer biomarkers, such as cortical lesions, the central vein sign, and paramagnetic rim lesions.

Li, who is a professor of radiology, associate member in neurology, and director of the Multiple Sclerosis/MRI Research Group at the University of British Columbia (UBC), additionally spoke on the work being done at UBC by he and his colleagues to assess and implement some of the advanced MR measures focused on assessing myelin content. The goal, he noted, will be to continue to improve the utility of MR, and if successful, these measures would allow for better assessment of remyelination efforts in the clinical development side of the field.

One such effort that Li highlighted is the work that Shannon Kolind, PhD, assistant professor, UBC, has done with data from the OPERA trial of ocrelizumab (Ocrevus; Genentech), in which she and her group were able to observe distinct differences in myelin and white matter changes between treated and untreated patient groups.

At CMSC 2021, Li and colleagues have been undergoing an effort to help the adoption of the recently updated consensus MRI guidelines, which were published over the summer. This effort includes the sharing of a small, portable card that covers the need for scans to follow the new protocol—which Li and colleagues believe may potentially help improve the application of these new guidelines and inform patients and physicians about them.

The Standardized MRI Protocol card can be accessed here, and the Spanish version can be accessed here.

For more coverage of CMSC 2021, click here.

Wattjes MP, Ciccarelli O, Reich DS, et al; 2021 MAGNIMS-CMSC-NAIMS consensus recommendations on the use of MRI in patients with multiple sclerosis. Lancet Neurol. 2021;20(8):653-670. doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(21)00095-8
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