Understanding Reasons for Greater Disability, Loss of Deep Gray Matter in Latinx Patients With MS: Daniel Ontaneda, MD, PhD


The associate professor of neurology at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western University discussed a presentation at AAN 2023 characterizing the clinical and MRI features of Latinx with multiple sclerosis. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 4 minutes

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a genetically complex autoimmune disease with an incidence and prevalence that is reported to differ with race and ethnicity. To gain a better understanding of how the disease affects Latinx patients, a group of investigators conducted a retrospective, cross-sectional study using individuals from the MS PATHS network. The analysis included 388 Latinx and 5726 White patients who underwent brain MRI within 1 year of clinical testing, with comparisons made through 2-sample t-test and Wilcoxon rank-sum.

Despite Latinx patients being younger (45.4 years vs 52.9 years; P <.001) and having shorter disease duration (17.2 years vs 19.5 years; P <.001), these individuals had higher T2 lesions volume (8.0 ml vs 6.5 ml; P = .009) and lower thalamic volume (12.8 ml vs 13.3 ml; P <.001) compared with White individuals. Led by Daniel Ontaneda, MD, PhD, this group also showed lower processing speed, brain parenchymal fraction, thalamic volume, cortical volume, and deep gray matter volume (all P <.001).

Ontaneda, an associate professor of neurology at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western University, believes these findings are significant, especially considering that Latinx individuals were younger and had shorter disease duration. At the 2023 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting, held April 22-27, in Boston, Massachusetts, Ontaneda sat down to discuss his poster, and the notable differences seen in this group. He spoke on the potential reasons for this increased disability and the conversations clinicians should have with their Latinx patients.

Click here for more coverage of AAN 2023.

1. Ontaneda D, Cohen JA, Mowry EM, et al. Latinx with multiple sclerosis have greater disability and loss of deep and cortical gray matter. Presented at: 2023 AAN Annual Meeting; April 22-27; Abstract S31
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