• L. Leocani
  • G. Comi
Part of the Topics in Neuroscience book series (TOPNEURO)


Neurophysiological methods, particularly evoked potentials (EPs; also known as evoked responses), are widely applied in the functional assessment of multiple sclerosis (MS), since they provide a quite reliable, even though indirect, measure of the extent of demyelination or axonal loss in a given nerve pathway. For this reason, they are used to indicate the involvement of sensory and motor pathways in the presence of vague disturbances and to detect clinically silent lesions, even though the latter application has been greatly reduced since the development of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which is more sensitive in detecting subclinical lesions. Nevertheless, the information provided by EPs is more strictly related to function than is the information obtained from structural MRI techniques. As O’Connor et al. [1] point out, it is impossible to “confidentially predict, from examining an MS patient’s cranial MRI, what the clinical findings or EDSS score will be.” In fact, the severity of the disease, assessed clinically, correlates well with the degree of neurophysiological abnormality found [2, 3, 4]. We briefly review the application of EPs in the assessment of the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and monitoring of MS.


Multiple Sclerosis Expand Disability Status Scale Optic Neuritis Motor Evoke Potential Visual Evoke Potential 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Leocani
    • 1
  • G. Comi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyScientific Institute and University Ospedale San RaffaeleMilanItaly

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