Research Article| Volume 21, P103-107, April 2018

Adult brain volume in multiple sclerosis: The impact of paediatric onset


      • Several differences characterize paediatric (POMS) compared to adult onset MS (AOMS).
      • Radiological characteristics are among the aspects that differentiating POMS from AOMS.
      • We found significant reduction in brain volumes in POMS compared to AOMS and healthy controls.
      • This feature appears to be independent from disease duration and other features.



      Paediatric onset multiple sclerosis (POMS) is associated with reduced brain and deep grey matter volume in comparison with that in healthy controls and individuals with adult onset multiple sclerosis (AOMS). The aim of our study was to evaluate the impact of POMS on adult brain volume with adjustment for other parameters, such as disease duration.

      Patients and methods

      We recruited 20 POMS and 40 AOMS patients and 20 healthy controls matched for age and sex. All study participants were adults at the time of inclusion in the study. All study subjects underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to evaluate whole brain, white matter, grey matter, cortical, and deep grey matter volumes. Clinical features, such as the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score and disease duration, were also assessed.


      Brain (p = 0.01), grey matter (p = 0.01), and deep grey matter volume (p = 0.03) was significantly lower in POMS patients than in AOMS patients, while no differences were detected in the volume of white matter or cortical grey matter. A multiple linear regression analysis showed a relationship between brain volume (dependent variable) and the independent variables age (p < 0.000) and paediatric onset (p < 0.001), while other independent variables, including disease duration, sex, and disability, were not significantly different among groups. There were significant differences in thalamic volume among POMS and AOMS patients and healthy controls.


      Our data support the previous findings that POMS patients have reduced brain and deep grey matter volume, particularly thalamic volume, compared with sex- and age-matched AOMS patients and healthy controls. These findings appear to be independent of disease duration and other clinical features.


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