Normal aging and multiple sclerosis related brain atrophy


  • In people with multiple sclerosis (MS), brain atrophy caused by normal aging may increase over time, and MS may decrease over time in thalamic regions; however, in the putamen and caudate, normal aging and MS do not exacerbate atrophy over time.

Why this matters

  • People with MS experience brain atrophy from neuroinflammatory tissue damage; however, the brain areas that demonstrate the most atrophy compared to normal aging have not been identified.

  • Whole brain volumetrics are often used in MS clinical trials as a measure of neurodegeneration and may be a potential clinical treatment target; therefore, it is important to distinguish between MS caused by atrophy and normal atrophy from aging.