Myelin integrity and axonal damage in newly diagnosed relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis

Takeaway

  • Reduced myelin integrity is associated with axonal damage at diagnosis in people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-derived g-ratio could be a useful tool in assessing lesion severity and extent of axonal damage at diagnosis.

Why this matters

  • It is well-known that demyelination and axonal damage are associated in people with established RRMS, and that axonal damage is a key factor in long-term disability. However, it is unclear whether this association exists in early or newly diagnosed RRMS and could therefore be leveraged at the earliest opportunity for treatment.

  • Using sensitive techniques for identifying early demyelination (MRI-derived g-ratios) and axonal damage (plasma neurofilament ELISA) in newly diagnosed RRMS could help to clarify this relationship.