Paramagnetic rim lesions (PRLs) are visible on MRI scans and indicate active demyelination, or damage to the myelin sheath that protects nerve fibers.
These lesions are a sign of disease progression which can affect cognitive function, especially processing speed and memory.
As part of a 5-year study, researchers at the MS center under the mentorship of Dr Susan Gauthier, followed a group of patients, regularly testing their cognitive abilities and studying their MRI scans to look for PRLs.
We found that patients with PRLs at the start of the study had significantly lower scores on measures of processing speed and visuospatial memory at year 5 compared to people without PRLs.
This suggests that PRLs may be an early indicator of cognitive decline in people with MS and could help identify individuals at risk.
Clinical Research Coordinator