Neuroimmunology Program - IDIBAPS

MS-VisualPath Cohort

Which are the aims?

It is a longitudinal and prospective study including patients with Multiple Sclerosis in order to understand the relationship between inflammation, demyelination and neuroaxonal injury in this condition as well as other potential mechanisms that may either contribute to disability worsening such as transsynaptic degeneration or avoid disability worsening such as neuroplasticity. We are also working for developing markers of monitoring, prognosis and therapy response using multimodal assessment of visual afferent pathway.

Which are the results so far?

We found that transsynaptic degeneration (from neuron to neuron) can be a relevant mechanism that explains disability worsening in the absence of identifiable relapses.

Moreover, we found that the presence of periflebitis (inflammation of the retinal veins), dyschromatopsia and visual field impairment in eyes unaffected by prior optic neuritis (and therefore free of local inflammation/neurodegeneration due to acute optic neuritis) were related with a higher risk of relapses, greater disability as well as grey matter brain and retinal atrophy. So, monitoring presence of periflebitis, color vision and visual field are good candidates for MS monitoring markers. In collaboration with other groups of IMSVISUAL, we have found that retinal neuroaxonal injury measured by optical coherence tomography serves to predict disability worsening in patients with MS.

What are we looking for and how could you help us?

Despite these results need to be re-evaluated at long time, they are promising results. That is why if you are a patient we would like to encourage you to participate in this study that will not interfere with standard healthcare in your hospital and will allow us to better understand multiple sclerosis. We will provide you with all the results so they will be available for your MS treating physician´s evaluation at your reference hospital.