, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 24–34

Imaging as an Outcome Measure in Multiple Sclerosis


DOI: 10.1007/s13311-016-0479-6

Cite this article as:
Ontaneda, D. & Fox, R.J. Neurotherapeutics (2017) 14: 24. doi:10.1007/s13311-016-0479-6


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic demyelinating disease of the central nervous system. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is sensitive to lesion formation both in the brain and spinal cord. Imaging plays a prominent role in the diagnosis and monitoring of MS. Over a dozen anti-inflammatory therapies are approved for MS and the development of many of these medications was made possible through the use of contrast-enhancing lesions on MRI as a phase II outcome. A similar phase II outcome method for the neurodegeneration that underlies progressive courses of the disease is still unavailable. Although magnetic resonance is an invaluable tool for the diagnosis and monitoring of treatment effects in MS, several imaging barriers still exist. In general, MRI is less sensitive to gray matter lesions, lacks pathological specificity, and does not provide quantitative data easily. Several advanced imaging methods including diffusion tensor imaging, magnetization transfer, functional MRI, myelin water fraction imaging, ultra-high field MRI, positron emission tomography, and optical coherence tomography of the retina study promising ways of overcoming the difficulties in MS imaging.

Key Words

Multiple sclerosis MRI biomarker atrophy lesions optical coherence tomography 

Supplementary material

13311_2016_479_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.2 mb)
ESM 1(PDF 1225 kb)

Copyright information

© The American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, Inc. 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mellen Center for Multiple SclerosisCleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA

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