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MRI-based clustering of MS patients

MRI-based clustering of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients is feasible and contributes to demonstrating disease heterogeneity. Researchers from IRCCS San Raffaele (Italy) identified 5 hierarchical clusters of MS patients with homogeneous underlying pathophysiology by using advanced MRI techniques [1]. They think this is useful for personalised medicine.

A cohort of 115 MS patients along with 44 age- and sex-matched healthy controls underwent brain and cervical cord 3T MRI with pulse sequences. Of the MS cohort, 57 patients had relapsing-remitting MS, 12 primary progressive MS, and 46 secondary progressive MS. Lesions, atrophy, and microstructural damage were assessed. A complete neurological assessment with Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) rating was performed as well.

Five clusters of MS patients were identified: “early”, “intermediate-cord”, “intermediate-cortical”, “intermediate-late-lesion”, and “late”. Early patients showed similar MRI met...

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