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MRI scans can help predict MS patient’s long term prognosis, 15 year study shows

Published on 25/07/19 at 11:11am

MRI scans can predict MS patient’s long term prognosis when they are first diagnosed, according to new research.

In a 15 year study published in the journal Brain, information collected from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans was shown to be able predict long term disease outcomes.

The study, saw researchers look at predictors of key long-term outcomes in 178 patients with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), a condition in which many patients go on to develop MS.

The patients underwent MRI scans of the brain and spinal cord at study entry and after one and three years.

The patients were then followed up after 15 years to determine the course of their disease. The researchers found that early focal inflammatory disease activity and spinal cord lesions are predictors of long term disease outcomes in patients with relapse-onset MS.

“Established MRI measures, available in routine clinical practice, may be useful in counselling patients with early multiple sclerosis about long-term prognosis, and personalizing treatment plans,” the study says.

Morna Simpkins, Director of the MS Society Scotland, said: “By identifying key factors that appear very early on and indicate how someone’s MS might develop, this study has proved crucial. We’re pleased to have funded the work and look forward to seeing it progress so people living with MS can finally have more certainty about the future.”

Louis Goss

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