Cognitive deficits affect up to 70% of people with progressive multiple sclerosis (MS). This is untreatable and gives rise to major detrimental socioeconomic impacts. The understanding of the mechanisms underlying this process is limited.
This study aims to explore the process of cognitive dysfunction in secondary progressive MS (SPMS) using advanced structural and functional MRI techniques, identify which MRI markers correlate best with cognitive deficits, and to define the SPMS cognitive phenotype.
50 SPMS patients are currently being enrolled from the UCL/London cohort of the phase IIb MS-SMART trial [NCT01910259] into an advanced cognitive sub-study. The following data are being collected cross-sectionally and longitudinally over a 2 year time period and will be described:
1. MRI: resting state functional connectivity (rsfMRI); structural T1 and T2-weighted lesion load and atrophy (whole brain/regional).
2. Advanced cognitive battery including: Visual memory, Verbal memory, Auditory and Visual Information Processing Speed, and Executive Function testing.
This independent research is awarded by the Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation Programme (EME) and funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Multiple Sclerosis Society (MS Society) and managed by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) on behalf of the MRC-NIHR partnership.