New MRI technique could improve diagnosis and treatment of multiple sclerosis
by Mohammed Arafat
Thursday 3rd of February 2022
A new research conducted by Medical University of Vienna stated that a new MRI technique could improve diagnosis and treatment of multiple sclerosis.
To delay the progression of the disease, it is important that multiple sclerosis (MS) is diagnosed and treated early. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) plays an important role in this process. A new MRI method was developed in a university in Vienna as part of a research project that could open a way to quickly diagnose disease function in MS. The study was conducted by a team of researchers led by Wolfgang Bogner at the Vienna university Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-guided Therapy.
Multiple sclerosis is a systemic disease that appears to change ulcers, especially in the brain. Like many other diseases, there is no cure for this disease, but it can be successfully treated. Early diagnosis is essential for prediction, with highly detailed imaging techniques playing a major role. Although routine MRI can detect brain lesions, scientists are studying ways to detect changes in the microscopic or biological classification of living organisms.
A method known as proton MR spectroscopy has been identified as a promising tool for this purpose. Using this process, a research team led by Eva Niess and Wolfgang Bognerand other scientists from the Department of Neurology used 7-tesla magnetic MR spectroscopy to compare neurochemical changes in the brain of 65 MS patients with those of 20 healthy controls.
Using 7-tesla MRI, MedUni Vienna researchers have now been able to identify MS-relevant neurochemicals, i.e. chemicals involved in the function of the nervous system. "This allowed us to visualize brain changes in regions that appear normal on conventional MRI scans," says study leader Wolfgang Bogner, pointing to one of the study's main findings. According to the study's lead author, Eva Niess, these findings could play a significant role in the care of MS patients in the future: "Some neurochemical changes that we've been able to visualize with the new technique occur early in the course of the disease and might not only correlate with disability but also predict further disease progression."
Using 7-tesla MRI, the researchers are now able to identify MS-related neurochemicals, i.e. chemicals involved in the functioning of the nervous system. ""This allowed us to visualize brain changes in regions that appear normal on conventional MRI scans," said study leader Wolfgang Bogner, pointing to some of the key findings of the study.
Niess and Bogner explained that further research is needed before these findings can be incorporated into clinical plans. They say the results showed that 7-tesla spectroscopic MR imaging is a new and important tool in diagnosing multiple sclerosis and treating MS patients.
Looking to the future, Wolfgang Bogner said that If the results are confirmed in further studies, this new neuroimaging technique could become a standard imaging tool for initial diagnosis and for monitoring disease activity and treatment in MS patients.
It’s worth mentioning that the method is currently only available on the 7-Tesla MRI scanner in Austria at MedUni Vienna and only for research purposes. However, the scientific team is working on refining the new method for use in routine clinical MRI scanners.