Callosal atrophy in multiple sclerosis is related to cognitive speed

Authors

  • G. Bergendal,

    Corresponding author
    • Division of Alzheimer Neurobiology center, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
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  • J. Martola,

    1. Division of Medical Imaging and Technology, Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
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  • L. Stawiarz,

    1. Division of Neurology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. SMILE Image Lab, Karolinska University Hospital-Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden
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  • M. Kristoffersen-Wiberg,

    1. Division of Medical Imaging and Technology, Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
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  • S. Fredrikson,

    1. Division of Neurology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
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  • O. Almkvist

    1. Division of Alzheimer Neurobiology center, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
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G. Bergendal, Department of Neurology R54, Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, SE-141 86 Stockholm, Sweden

Tel.: +46 8 58587258

Fax: +46 8 7744822

e-mail: gosta.bergendal@karolinska.se

Abstract

Background

Long-term changes regarding corpus callosum area (CCA) and information processing speed in cognitive and sensory-motor tasks have rarely been studied in multiple sclerosis (MS).

Objective and methods

Information processing speed in cognitive (Symbol Digit Modalities Test, SDMT), sensory (visual and auditory reaction time) and motor (finger-tapping speed, FT; right and left hand) tasks as well as auditory inter-hemispheric transfer (verbal dichotic listening, VDL) was related to CCA, measured by MRI at baseline and at follow-up after nine years in 22 patients with MS. Possible confounding by demographic (age, gender and education), clinical (symptom onset, duration, severity of disease) and relative brain volume (RBV) as well as T2 lesion load was taken into account.

Results

The smaller the CCA at baseline, the slower was SDMT performance at baseline. In a similar way, CCA at follow-up was associated with poor SDMT result at follow-up. Furthermore, the higher the annual rate of change in CCA, the poorer was performance in VDL on the left ear and the more pronounced was the right ear advantage. A positive relationship between performance in VDL right ear and annual rate of change in RBV was also seen. Sensory-motor tests were not significantly associated with CCA. T2 lesion load at baseline was associated with FT performance at baseline. Demographic, clinical and radiological (RBV and T2 lesion load) characteristics did not confound the significant relation between CCA and SDMT.

Conclusions

CCA unlike RBV and T2 lesion load was associated with SDMT, which indicated a marked cognitive rather than perceptual-motor component.

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