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13 active trials for Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis

Gray Matter Demyelination in Primary Progressive MS at 7T

Progressive-onset multiple sclerosis (PPMS) occurs in about 15% of all people living with MS. PPMS remains understudied, and most disease-modifying treatments are ineffective for PPMS. To date, it is unknown why some people progress immediately from MS onset. The present study will assess the role of gray matter in PPMS by characterizing it with ultra-high field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). While both white and gray matter are affected in relapsing MS, in PPMS tissue damage is primarily in the cortex. Cortical gray matter consists largely of neuronal cell bodies, which send electrical signals to create a functional response, such as arm or leg movement. While white matter damage slows the signal response, cortical damage inhibits the initial creation of electrical signals. There is a great need to research and develop scientific biomarkers to identify and monitor progression and repair in PPMS. In this project, 7 Tesla MRI is used to investigate the cortical gray matter in people with PPMS. 7 Tesla MRI is the safest and most detailed way to study the brain. Because the cortex is only a few millimeters thick, it has been traditionally difficult to investigate. At 7 Tesla, different layers and lesions within the cortex can be seen. In addition, this project will use myelin-sensitive MRI to determine the biological underpinnings of both cortical lesions and the 'normal appearing' cortical damage in PPMS. This will answer relevant questions about the brain's capacity for repair, the extent of demyelination and the occurrence of inherent cortical remyelination and provides an avenue for the development of novel clinical MR biomarkers tailored to PPMS.

HvidovreStart: September 2021