There is no doubt that the application of conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to the study of multiple sclerosis (MS) has greatly improved our ability to diagnose this condition and to monitor its evolution. The exquisite sensitivity of T2-weighted MRI in the detection of MS lesions, together with the ability of postcontrast T1-weighted images to reflect the presence of increased blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability associated with inflammatory activity, allow us to demonstrate the spatial and temporal dissemination of MS lesions earlier than is possible from a clinical assessment of the patients. In addition, serial MRI scanning of the brain is five to ten times more sensitive for detecting disease activity than the clinical evaluation of relapses. In consequence, metrics derived from conventional MRI are now established, in conjunction with the clinical assessment, as outcome measures by which to monitor the efficacy of experimental treatments in placebo-controlled MS trials.
KeywordsMultiple Sclerosis Patient Magnetization Transfer Multiple Sclerosis Lesion Multiple Sclerosis Evolution Serial Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scanning
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