JOURNAL OF SPINAL CORD MEDICINE, 2019 (SCI-Expanded)
Context/Objective: Clinical disease activity in multiple sclerosis (MS) may manifest as predominant involvement of optic nerves and spinal cord, as exemplified by opticospinal multiple sclerosis (OSMS) often encountered in Asian countries. Our aim was to compare the clinical features, neuropsychological profile and cytokine/chemokine levels of patients with conventional MS (CMS) and MS presenting predominantly with spinal cord and optic nerve attacks (MS-SCON). Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: MS Outpatient Clinic. Participants: Fourteen MS-SCON patients, 20 CMS patients without myelitis and optic neuritis attacks and 21 healthy individuals. Outcome measures: IL-8, IL-10, IFN-gamma, IL-17 and TNF-alpha levels were measured by multiplex assay and CXCL2 and CXCL5 levels were measured by ELISA. A panel of neuropsychological tests, Beck depression inventory, 9-hole peg and timed 25-foot walk tests were employed. Results: CMS and MS-SCON patients showed similar clinical features. Both CMS and MS-SCON patients displayed reduced IL-8 and CXCL2 and increased TNF-alpha levels, while IL-10 and CXCL5 levels were identical among all groups. Conclusion: Neuropsychological and motor function test performances of CMS and MS-SCON patients were highly comparable. CMS and MS-SCON present with similar clinical, neuropsychological and immunological features. Therefore, optic nerve and spinal cord-dominant form of MS does not necessarily establish a distinct entity in our region. Cognitive networks of the central nervous system may be damaged during the disease course of MS, despite the absence of cerebral or cerebellar clinical attacks.