Brain plasticity in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: Evidence from resting-state fMRI

Yaou Liu, Peipeng Liang, Yunyun Duan, Xiuqin Jia, Chunshui Yu, Min Zhang, Fei Wang, Shou-Mo Zhang, Huiqing Dong, Jing Ye, Helmut Butzkueven, Kuncheng Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study is to investigate whether spontaneous brain activity amplitude alteration occurs in RRMS by comparing appropriately processed fMRI data from subjects with RRMS and healthy controls. Resting-state fMRIs collected from thirty-five RRMS patients and thirty-five ageand sex-matched normal controls were compared to investigate the ALFF difference between the two groups. The relationships between ALFF in regions with significant group differences and the EDSS (Expanded Disability Status Scale), disease duration, T2 lesion volume were further explored. Our results showed that RRMS patients showed no regions with decreased ALFF, while showed significantly increased ALFF in the bilateral thalami, right insula (BA 13)/ right superior temporal gyrus (BA 22). The correlation between the EDSS and ALFF in the right insula/ right superior temporal gyrus was significant. From this study, we demonstrate that increased resting state amplitudes occur in the brain of patients with RRMS, specifically in areas with extensive cortical connections. We hypothesize that this is an adaptive phenomenon, reflecting either ongoing cortical plasticity in the resting-state, or increased neuronal activity related to coordination of remapped cortical functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-131
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • ALFF
  • Brain plasticity
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Resting-state fMRI

Cite this