Understanding Cognitive Dysfunction

A study was recently published that looked at cognitive impairment in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) in adults. The authors studied how cognitive impairment is related to the way the brain looks on imaging like MRI. The authors found that almost half (48.2%) of the study participants with NMOSD had cognitive impairment and had abnormal signals in the white matter and gray matter of their brain. Study participants with NMOSD who did not have cognitive impairment also had abnormal signals in their white matter, but not their gray matter. They also found that atrophy, or shrinking, of a part of the brain called the hippocampus was associated with cognitive impairment.

Liu Y, Fu Y, Schoonheim MM et al.  Structural MRI substrates of cognitive impairment in neuromyelitis optica. Neurology. 2015 Oct 27;85(17):1491-9.


Dr. Lana Harder at UT Southwestern is conducting a study on cognitive impairment in pediatric transverse myelitis funded through SRNA’s partnership with Consano, a platform to enable individuals to donate directly to specific medical research projects and programs, advancing medical progress and empowering individual action. Dr. Harder is using MRI of the brain, optical coherence tomography, and neuropsychological testing to see if cognitive impairment is related to the way the brain and retina (a part of the eye) look.