Pediatric patients with MS did not differ regarding performance on cognitive tests compared with healthy pediatric controls, but they did perform better than adult patients with MS, according to results published in Multiple Sclerosis Journal. Lauren B. Krupp, MD, and colleagues compared a consecutive set of pediatric patients with relapsing MS with healthy pediatric controls and adults with relapsing MS. There was no difference among the pediatric groups (MS vs healthy controls) on composite mean scores or individual test scores for either the Brief International Cognitive Assessment for MS or the Cogstate Brief Battery; there was also no difference in the proportions impaired on either battery. However, even after controlling for differences in disease duration, pediatric patients with MS performed better than adults with MS on the Brief International Cognition Assessment for MS composite (P=0.03), the Symbol Digit Modalities Test (P=0.02), the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (P=0.01), and the Cogstate choice reaction time (P<0.001).

Greatest Retinal & Cortical Volume Loss Earlier in MS Disease Process

An age-dependent decrease in retinal and cortical volume loss among patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) indicates a deceleration in neurodegeneration earlier in the disease, according to results published in Neurology. Christian Cordano, MD, PhD, and colleagues examined 597 patients with MS who underwent longitudinal optical coherence tomography imaging annually for 4.5±2.4 years and 432 patients who underwent longitudinal MRI scans for 10±3.4 years, quantifying macular ganglion-cell-inner plexiform layer (GCIPL) volume and cortical gray matter (CGM) volume. The rate of CGM volume loss decreased with increasing age at study entry (atrophy percentage per year by age at entry: 1.3% for <35; 1.1% for >35 to <41; 0.97% for >41 to <49; and 0.9% for >49). The rate of GCIPL thinning was greatest for the youngest patients; it decreased by more than 50% in the following age quartile and then stabilized (thinning percentage per year by age at entry: 0.7% for <35; 0.29% for >35 to <41; 0.34% for >41 to <49; and 0.33% for >49). The study results provide further evidence “that the period of greatest adaptive-immune mediated inflammatory activity is also the period with the greatest neuroaxonal loss,” Dr. Cordano and colleagues wrote.