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Predicting Episodic Memory Loss in Patients with MS

Mult Scler; ePub 2018 Mar 7; Koenig, et al

Functional activation may be useful as a predictive measure of episodic memory loss in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), a recent study found. Researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during a verbal episodic memory task, lesion load, and volumetric measures of the hippocampus and thalamus to assess the relative contributions to verbal and visual-spatial episodic memory in persons with MS (n=32) and healthy controls (n=16). They found:

  • After adjusting for disease duration, immediate recall performance on a visual-spatial episodic memory task was significantly predicted by hippocampal volume.
  • Delayed recall on the same task was significantly predicted by volume of the left thalamus.
  • For both memory measures, functional activation of the thalamus during encoding was more predictive than that of volume measures.

Citation:

Koenig KA, Rao SM, Lowe MJ, et al. The role of the thalamus and hippocampus in episodic memory performance in patients with multiple sclerosis. [Published online ahead of print March 7, 2018]. Mult Scler. doi:10.1177/1352458518760716.