Cortical functional connectivity in multiple sclerosis: A longitudinal qEEG study

Proponente Claudio Babiloni - Professore Ordinario
Sottosettore ERC del proponente del progetto
Componenti gruppo di ricerca

Background and rationale. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is characterized by three major clinical forms: 1) relapsing-remitting (RR) phenotype (initial manifestation in 85-90% of subjects with MS) with acute neurologic dysfunctions (i.e. relapses) followed by partial or complete recovery periods (i.e. remissions); 2) secondary progressive (SP) phenotype in which, after some years of RR disease course, the acute phases become less and less frequent and are substituted by a steady progression of disability; 3) primary progressive (PP) phenotype in which disability progresses without relapses from the disease onset. Neuroimaging evidence unveiled different structural abnormalities in the brain between the RR and SP sub-groups while diverse functional abnormalities in the cortical neural synchronization were revealed by resting state electroencephalographic (rsEEG) rhythms [1]. It is an open issue, and one of the most relevant unmet needs in MS clinical research, how to predict the evolution of MS from RR to SP and whether the cortical neural connectivity from rsEEG rhythms can help in this regard. Aim. This 2-year project aims at testing if rsEEG markers are related to clinical features of MS over 4-8 years of disease evolution. Objectives. Test if rsEEG markers of neural connectivity can predict and monitor the disease evolution in MS from RR towards SP in a group of MS patients with RR. Design and phases. The study will be based on clinical and rsEEG data in 50 RR patients and 41 age-matched healthy control subjects (HC). All raw data in the HC subjects are already available in our archive. Those of more than 100 RR patients are available only at baseline. In this study, we will re-call those patients and collect clinical and rsEEG data at 4-8 year follow-up in 50 of them (estimated 50% of drop outs). Statistical analysis will test the hypothesis reported in the above "Objectives".

Essential reference
[1]Babiloni et al., 2016;PMID: 26111485

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