Projects and Grants

Our ongoing research projects include:

Examining the role of brain sodium content in multiple sclerosis using MRI
(NIH RO1 NS099527)
There is increasing evidence that neuro-axonal degeneration occurs progressively from disease onset and it is a relevant cause of accumulating disability in multiple sclerosis. At present, there are no predictive indices of disease progression and no effective therapeutic agents that have demonstrated efficacy in preventing or slowing the relentless accumulation of disability, which accrues during the progressive phase of MS. In a recent study we have shown the feasibility of single quantum (SQ) 23Na MRI and quantification of total sodium concentration (TSC) in patients with MS. Then we have implemented a new pulse sequence for the acquisition of triple quantum 23Na MRI and we have combined SQ and TQF 23Na MRI to assess intracellular sodium concentration (ISC) and intracellular sodium volume fraction (ISVF) at 7 Tesla. Our research project aims at elucidating basis of tissue sodium abnormalities and at identifying markers of evolution from the relapsing-remitting to the secondary-progressive form of the disease.

MRI correlates of disease and disability progression in African-Americans with MS (NIH RO1 NS100811)
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is less frequent among African-Americans (AA) than Caucasian-Americans (CA) but it is characterized by a more severe course. We and other groups have shown that a higher lesion volume may explain the rapid clinical progression in AA patients. We hypothesized that in addition to faster lesion accumulation, gray matter (GM) damage and less efficient neuroplasticity may underlie a more aggressive disease course in AA with MS. Our research project aims at investigating regional GM atrophy, cortical thickness and neuroplasticity as measured by fMRI in African-Americans with MS in order to identify the correlates of disease severity. The identification of predictive factors of more aggressive disease may help elucidate disease pathophysiology and aid with treatment choice.

Longitudinal multimodal imaging of primary-progressive multiple sclerosis            (NMSS (RG 5120-A-3)
Primary progressive (PP) multiple sclerosis is characterized by a discrepancy between the severity of clinical deterioration and the paucity of brain MRI lesions. Therefore, conventional MRI markers such as new T2 and Gadolinium-enhancing lesions are insensitive to the underlying disease activity. There is a huge need for alternative MRI markers sensitive to disease progression and able to monitor response to experimental neuroprotective agents. Our research project, in collaboration with Prof. Fred Lublin, aims at identifying  novel MRI markers of gray matter pathology using a longitudinal multimodal imaging approach including MRI of cortical lesions and novel and more pathologically specific markers of gray and white matter pathology derived by diffusion kurtosis imaging.

Structural, metabolic and functional characterization of progressive MS at high and ultra-high field MRI (Teva Neuroscience)                                                                           Recent MRI and histopathological studies have shown that gray matter lesional and non lesional damage is more prominent in patients with progressive MS and that GM atrophy occurs at a faster pace than in patients with RR-MS. Our hypothesis is that higher GM damage and presence of meningeal inflammation are associated with a more rapid disease progression. Therefore, our study aims at  characterizing progressive MS in terms of WM and GM lesion morphology and localization at high and ultra-high field strength at baseline and at 12-month follow-up and to compare them with patients with RR-MS;  to identify MRI markers predictive of rapid and slow disease progression.


Head of Laboratory
Matilde Inglese, MD, PhD
Professor of Neurology, Radiology, and Neuroscience
Tel: 212-824-9310
Send email

Mailing Address
One Gustave L. Levy Place
Department of Neurology
Box 1137
New York, NY 10029

Laboratory Location
Hess Building for Science and Medicine
1470 Madison Avenue
10th Floor, Room 109
New York, NY 10029