New research, recently published in Brain, has demonstrated new MRI techniques that could predict disability in Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The work entitled “Brain microstructural and metabolic alterations at the onset of the first demyelinating event”, led by Dr.Sara Collorone at University College London (UCL) is funded both by the Rosetrees Trust and the MS Society.
MS is an unpredictable disease and can be very different in different people. Predicting disease progression and severity of symptoms is vital in being able to treat patients early with the best medications for ultimately better prognosis. The researchers in this project have developed new MRI techniques that are able to assess, previously unseen, microscopic changes happening in the early stages of the disease. This study also reports that these microscopic changes can be correlated with subtle changes in disability.

These new techniques will now be used in a long-term study to test their ability to predict the severity of symptoms and progression of disease. If this is confirmed then these techniques, in the future, these techniques could be used in the clinic to provide better-targeted treatments for MS patients.