Understanding Cognitive Decline Based on Multiple Sclerosis Phenotype: Dejan Jakimovski, MD, PhD


The research assistant professor at the Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center provided context on how different forms of multiple sclerosis impact cognitive decline in patients. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

"As the disease progresses, after 15-20 years or through transitions called secondary progressive MS, we can see that the neurodegeneration or actual atrophy of the brain shifts from the deep gray matter structures of the thalamus to a more greater atrophy in the surface cortical regions.”

With the median age of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) rising, increasing numbers are presenting with cognitive impairment, particularly in the domains of processing speed, visuospatial memory, and/or executive function. To date, there has been little research on which brain structures of the brain are responsible for this cognitive decline, and how much other underlying conditions, such as Alzheimer disease, play a part.

To better understand this, a team of investigators at the Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC), will analyze the anatomical features of decline in a cohort of 100 elderly patients with MS. Led by Dejan Jakimovski, MD, PhD, the research looks at certain gray matter structures, such as the thickness of cortical areas and the volume of deep gray matter nuclei, and their relationship with different cognitive domains.

Jakimovski, research assistant professor, BNAC, said there are specific changes that occur in the brain as MS continues to progress. In an interview with NeurologyLive®, he outlined what previous literature has explained in terms of where and when patients may begin to experience cognitive decline, and whether some forms of the disease may be more at risk.

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