Cognitive impairment in early MS: contribution of white matter lesions, deep grey matter atrophy, and cortical atrophy.

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Cognitive impairment (CI) is a frequent and debilitating symptom in MS. To better understand the neural bases of CI in MS, this magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study aimed to identify and quantify related structural brain changes and to investigate their relation to each other.We studied 51 patients with CI and 391 patients with cognitive preservation (CP). We analyzed three-dimensional T1-weighted and FLAIR scans at 3 Tesla. We determined mean cortical thickness as well as volumes of cortical grey matter (GM), deep GM including thalamus, cerebellar cortex, white matter, corpus callosum, and white matter lesions (WML). We also analyzed GM across the whole brain by voxel-wise and surface-based techniques.Mean disease duration was 5 years. Comparing MS patients with CI and CP, we found higher volumes of WML, lower volumes of deep and cortical GM structures, and lower volumes of the corpus callosum (all corrected p values 

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