Multiple sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England) | 13 Dec 2012
A Tipirneni, B Weinstock-Guttman, M Ramanathan, N Abdelrahman, S Hussein, J Hagemeier, J Durfee, BE Teter, D Hojnacki, MG Dwyer and R Zivadinov
PURPOSE: To investigate the MRI characteristics in a large cohort of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with and without a family history of MS. METHODS: Enrolled in this prospective study were 758 consecutive MS patients (mean age 46.2 ± 10.1 years, disease duration 13.6 ± 9.2 years and EDSS 3.4 ± 2.1), of whom 477 had relapsing-remitting, 222 secondary-progressive, and 30 primary-progressive disease courses and 29 had clinically isolated syndrome. One hundred and ninety-six patients (25.9%) had a positive family history of MS. Patients were assessed using measurements of lesions, brain atrophy, magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) and diffusion-weighted imaging. RESULTS: The familial MS group had greater T1-lesion volume (p=0.009) and a trend for lower MTR of T1-lesion volume (p=0.047) than the sporadic MS group. No clinical differences were found between familial versus sporadic group, or by a degree of affected relative subgroups. CONCLUSIONS: While familial MS was associated with more severe T1-lesion volume and its MTR characteristics, there were no clinical status differences between familial and sporadic MS patients. Therefore, a better understanding of the genetic and/or epigenetic influences causing these differences can advance the understanding and management of MS.
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