The link between resting-state functional connectivity and cognition in MS patients.Mult Scler 2014; 20(3):338-48MS
The objective of this paper is to explore differences in resting-state functional connectivity between cognitively impaired and preserved multiple sclerosis (MS) patients.
Sixty MS patients and 18 controls were assessed with the Brief Repeatable Battery of Neuropsychological Tests (BRB-N). A global Z score of the BRB-N was obtained and allowed us to classify MS patients as cognitively impaired and cognitively preserved (n = 30 per group). Functional connectivity was assessed by independent component analysis of resting-state networks (RSNs) related to cognition: the default mode network, left and right frontoparietal and salience network. Between-group differences were evaluated and a regression analysis was performed to describe relationships among cognitive status, functional connectivity and radiological variables.
Compared to cognitively preserved patients and healthy controls, cognitively impaired patients showed a lesser degree of functional connectivity in all RSNs explored. Cognitively preserved patients presented less connectivity than the control group in the left frontoparietal network. Global Z scores were positively and negatively correlated with brain parenchymal fraction and lesion volume, respectively.
Decreased cognitive performance is accompanied by reduced resting state functional connectivity and directly related to brain damage. These results support the use of connectivity as a powerful tool to monitor and predict cognitive impairment in MS patients.