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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Neurol. | doi: 10.3389/fneur.2019.01136

Relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis is associated with regional brain activity deficits in motor- and cognitive-related brain areas

Xiao-Feng Du1,  Jiao Liu1*, Qi-Feng Hua1 and Yi-Jiao Wu1
  • 1Department of Radiology, Ningbo No. 2 Hospital, China

Objective: To identify the abnormal regional spontaneous brain activity associated with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), using fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (fALFF) analysis, and their relationships with clinical features.
Methods: A total of twenty-six RRMS (11 males, 15 females; age, 36.58±10.82 years) and 27 status-matched healthy group (HGs; 12 males, 15 females; age, 35.85±12.05 years) underwent an Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) examination. fALFF was applied to evaluate the abnormal regional brain activity associated with RRMS. Pearson’s correlation analysis was applied to calculate the correlations between the signal values of brain areas that exhibited abnormal fALFF values and clinical features. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was performed to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of those altered brain areas to distinguish between RRMS and HGs.
Results: Compared with HGs, RRMS exhibited higher fALFF in the right cerebellum posterior lobe, left orbitofrontal cortex, left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, bilateral supplementary motor area and right fusiform gyrus, and lower fALFF values in the left hippocampus and right precuneus. ROC revealed that these areas showed two good and five fair AUC values (0.77 ± 0.03, 0.729~0.822). However, four combinations with more than five brain regions received the same best discriminatory power with sensitivity of 96.3% and specificity of 88.5%. EDSS revealed a negative correlation with supplementary motor area (r = -0.395, p = 0.046).
Conclusions: RRMS is associated with abnormal regional brain activity deficits of motor- and cognitive-related areas. The fALFF parameter may serve as a potential biological marker to discriminate between the two groups.

Keywords: Multiple Sclerosis, Fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation, functional magnetic resonance imaging, receiver operating characteristic, Cognitive Function, motor system

Received: 13 Mar 2019; Accepted: 10 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Du, Liu, Hua and Wu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Jiao Liu, Department of Radiology, Ningbo No. 2 Hospital, Ningbo, China,