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


Neurophysiological methods, particularly evoked potentials (EPs), are widely employed in the functional assessment of multiple sclerosis (MS), since they provide a reliable, even though indirect, measure of the extent of demyelination or axonal loss in a given pathway. For this reason, they are used to define the involvement of sensory and motor pathways in the presence of vague disturbances, and to detect clinically silent lesions. The latter application of EPs has become greatly reduced since the development of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology, which has a much higher sensitivity in detecting subclinical lesions. Nevertheless, the information provided by EPs is different from that provided by structural MRI techniques, since EPs are more strictly related to function. Disease severity assessed clinically well correlates with the extent of neurophysiological abnormalities [1,2]. Neurophysiological studies specifically aimed at characterizing the primary progressive (PP) form of MS, particularly with respect to secondary progressive MS (SPMS), are lacking. In this chapter, we discuss the rationale and applications of neurophysiological methods to the study of PPMS.


Multiple Sclerosis Expand Disability Status Scale Expand Disability Status Scale Score Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis Central Motor Conduction Time 
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© Springer-Verlag Italia, Milano 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Leocani
  • G. Comi

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