New MRI Test May Predict Severity of MS

The myth that black people do not get multiple sclerosis (MS) is just that – a myth. Although black people are less likely to be reported of having MS, a 2013 study found that blacks actually had a 47 percent increased risk of MS compared to whites. The study, which was published in Neurology, also found that among blacks, women had triple the risk of MS compared to men.

People with MS often live with uncertainty because it’s hard to predict how quickly the disease will progress and how disabling it might become. But researchers hope a new MRI test that tracks iron levels in the brain will help answer those questions.

The test – called quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) – looks at different areas of the brain and how much iron is deposited in each.

In some brain areas, a higher iron level is linked to longer disease duration, greater disability, and disease progression, according to the researchers. One such area is the basal ganglia, a group of structures important for movement.

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