Brain. 2002 Jul;125(Pt 7):1607-15

Cortical motor reorganization after a single clinical attack of multiple sclerosis

Pantano P, Iannetti GD, Caramia F, Mainero C, Di Legge S, Bozzao L, Pozzilli C, Lenzi GL.


In order to evaluate whether cortical motor reorganization occurs in the earliest phase of multiple sclerosis, we studied patients after a first clinical attack of hemiparesis. From a consecutive series of 70 patients enrolled in a study of patients with clinically isolated syndrome and serial MRI findings indicative of multiple sclerosis, we retrospectively selected 10 patients with hemiparesis as the onset symptom and no further clinical episode [mean age 32 +/- 9 years, disease duration 24 +/- 14 months, median Expanded Disability Status Score (EDSS) 1.25]. Ten age-matched, healthy subjects served as controls. Each subject was submitted to two functional MRI trials (one per hand) using a 1.5 T magnet during a sequential finger-to-thumb opposition task. Image analysis was performed using SPM99 software. Movements of both the 'affected' and the 'unaffected' hand activated significantly larger areas in patients than in controls in both the contralateral and ipsilateral cortical motor areas. Patients activated a greater number of foci than controls during both the right-hand and the left-hand movement. Most of these foci were located in cortical areas which were less or not at all activated in controls, such as the lateral premotor cortex [Brodmann area (BA) 6], the insula and the inferior parietal lobule (BA 40). Between-group analysis of patients versus controls showed significant (P

PMID: 12077009