Data_Sheet_1_Insights on the Relationship Between Hippocampal Connectivity and Memory Performances at the Early Stage of Multiple Sclerosis.docx (526.76 kB)
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Data_Sheet_1_Insights on the Relationship Between Hippocampal Connectivity and Memory Performances at the Early Stage of Multiple Sclerosis.docx

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posted on 19.05.2021, 05:24 by Juliette Boscheron, Aurélie Ruet, Mathilde Deloire, Julie Charré-Morin, Aurore Saubusse, Bruno Brochet, Thomas Tourdias, Ismail Koubiyr

While memory impairment in multiple sclerosis (MS) is known to be associated with hippocampal alterations, whether hippocampal networks could dynamically reorganize as a compensation mechanism is still a matter of debate. In this context, our aim was to identify the patterns of structural and functional connectivity between the hippocampus and the rest of the brain and their possible relevance to memory performances in early MS. Thirty-two patients with a first episode suggestive of MS together with 10 matched healthy controls were prospectively explored at baseline, 1 and 5 years follow up. They were scanned with MRI and underwent a neuropsychological battery of tests that included the Selective Reminding Test and the Brief Visual Memory Test Revised to assess verbal and visuo-spatial memory, respectively. Hippocampal volume was computed together with four graph theory metrics to study the structural and functional connectivity of both hippocampi with the rest of the brain. Associations between network parameters and memory performances were assessed using linear mixed-effects (LME) models. Considering cognitive abilities, verbal memory performances of patients decreased over time while visuo-spatial memory performances were maintained. In parallel, hippocampal volumes decreased significantly while structural and functional connectivity metrics were modified, with an increase in hippocampal connections over time. More precisely, these modifications were indicating a reinforcement of hippocampal short-distance connections. LME models revealed that the drop in verbal memory performances was associated with hippocampal volume loss, while the preservation of visuo-spatial memory performances was linked to decreased hippocampal functional shortest path length. In conclusion, we demonstrated a differential impairment in memory performances in the early stages of MS and an important interplay between hippocampal-related structural and functional networks and those performances. As the structural damage increases, functional reorganization seems to be able to maintain visuo-spatial memory performances with strengthened short-distance connections.

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