New Study Finds Myelin Loss Linked to MS Severity

established because of the absence of appropriate imaging methods,” he added. Yarnykh and colleagues used a new type of MRI called MPF mapping to examine the brains of 30 MS patients and 14 people without the disease.

Eighteen of the patients had relapsing-remitting MS, the most common type initially diagnosed, and 12 had secondary-progressive MS, a more advanced form of the disease.

“The major finding of the study is that the loss of myelin in gray matter caused by MS in its relative amount is comparable to, or even larger than, that in white matter,” Yarnykh said.

“Furthermore, gray matter demyelination is much more advanced in patients with secondary-progressive MS, and it is very strongly related to patients’ disability. As such, we believe that information about gray matter myelin damage in MS is of primary clinical relevance,” he explained.

The researchers also said that the new MRI technique could be useful in assessing new treatments for MS and in helping manage the disease. To learn more information on multiple sclerosis, visit our Health Conditions tab on

SOURCE: Radiology, news release, Sept. 10, 2014