Regional neuronal activity in patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis

Annette Baumgartner*, Lars Frings, Florian Schiller, Oliver Stich, Michael Mix, Karl Egger, Gisa Schluh, Sebastian Rauer, Philipp T. Meyer

*Corresponding author for this work
10 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Although interferon-beta is an established drug for relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), its impact on neuronal activity is not well understood. Methods: We investigated 15 patients with RRMS by [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) to assess cerebral metabolic rate of glucose (CMRglc) before interferon-beta therapy. Further, we performed clinical and neuropsychological investigations. In nine patients, these investigations were repeated after 6 months of therapy. Ten healthy controls were also studied. Results: We found no significant differences in absolute CMRglc between patients and controls, or in patients before and during treatment. However, during treatment, relative regional glucose metabolism (rCMRlglc) was decreased in cerebellum and increased in parts of left inferior parietal, temporo-occipital, frontal cortical areas, left striatum and right insula. In untreated patients, higher fatigue was associated with lower rCMRlglc in portions of left posterior cingulate cortex, and higher depression was associated with lower rCMRlglc within the left superior temporal sulcus. In the pooled sample, higher depression was associated with higher rCMRlglc in parts of the right precuneus. Conclusions: Our results indicate effects of IFN-beta treatment on cerebellar, cortical and subcortical neuronal function. Moreover, more severe fatigue and depression in untreated patients seem to be associated with reduced neuronal activity in left posterior cingulate cortex and left superior temporal cortex, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Neurologica Scandinavica
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)466-474
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 12.2018

Research Areas and Centers

  • Health Sciences

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 206-07 Clinical Neurology Neurosurgery and Neuroradiology
  • 206-08 Cognitive and Systemic Human Neuroscience
  • 206-05 Experimental Models for Investigating Diseases of the Nervous System

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