Summary: Researchers report hippocampal plasticity can be improved by aerobic exercise and memory retraining for those with MS.
Source: Kessler Foundation.
A recent article by a team of international experts on multiple sclerosis (MS) underscores the importance of expanding the knowledge base about the hippocampus in order to better understand the genesis of cognitive deficits and develop new treatment strategies.
The burgeoning field of neuroimaging has fueled cognitive research in MS, including details of the involvement of the hippocampus and associated changes in cognition, as well as the effects of different types of interventions. Techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), functional MRI, and diffusion tensor imaging are yielding fundamental in-vivo information about hippocampal pathology and links with clinical manifestations. The authors examine the literature on neuroimaging of the hippocampus in MS, including studies of focal lesions, structural abnormalities, atrophy, and abnormalities of functional connectivity. There is growing evidence that the hippocampus can be modified by aerobic exercise and memory retraining, suggesting the potential for the development of effective cognitive rehabilitative strategies.
“Recent advances in neuroimaging have greatly improved our understanding of the involvement of the hippocampus in MS,” said John DeLuca, PhD, senior VP of Research and Training at Kessler Foundation, and a co-author of the article. “Now we are aware of subregions with different levels of susceptibility to damage, for example, and the potential for hippocampal plasticity and neurogenesis,” noted Dr. DeLuca. “The challenge is to correlate these findings with clinical manifestations and renew our efforts toward improving outcomes for the population with MS.”
Funding: Supported by National Institute of Health Research.
Source:Carolann Murphy – Kessler Foundation
Publisher: Organized by NeuroscienceNews.com.
Image Source: NeuroscienceNews.com image is in the public domain.
Original Research: Abstract for “The hippocampus in multiple sclerosis” by Maria A Rocca, MD, Prof Frederik Barkhof, MD, Prof John De Luca, PhD, Jonas Frisén, MD, Prof Jeroen J G Geurts, PhD, Hanneke E Hulst, PhD, Jaume Sastre-Garriga, MD, Prof Massimo Filippi, MD for the MAGNIMS Study Group in The Lancet Neurology. Published October 1 2018.
The hippocampus in multiple sclerosis
Some of the clinical manifestations of multiple sclerosis, such as memory impairment and depression, are, at least partly, related to involvement of the hippocampus. Pathological studies have shown extensive demyelination, neuronal damage, and synaptic abnormalities in the hippocampus of patients with multiple sclerosis, and improvements in MRI technology have provided novel ways to assess hippocampal involvement in vivo. It is now accepted that clinical manifestations related to the hippocampus are due not only to focal hippocampal damage, but also to disconnection of the hippocampus from several brain networks. Evidence suggests anatomical and functional subspecialisation of the different hippocampal subfields, resulting in variability between regions in the extent to which damage and repair occur. The hippocampus also has important roles in plasticity and neurogenesis, both of which potentially contribute to functional preservation and restoration. These findings underline the importance of evaluation of the hippocampus not only to improve understanding of the clinical manifestations of multiple sclerosis, but also as a potential future target for treatment.