Lorenzini foundation Centro studi Lorenzini foundation Centro studi


Multiple sclerosis (MS) currently occurs two to three times more often in women than in men, thus a gender-related difference in susceptibility to relapsing MS is clinically well established: there is the notion of several mechanisms by which sex hormones might contribute to or modulate brain damage in MS, whether the course of relapsing MS actually differs between men and women is less clear, however.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) appears an ideal tool to investigate the possible impact of gender on MS course and severity. This study analysed the impact of various factors including gender on MS-related morphologic changes and their evolution.
Only more recently some studies have specifically addressed this issue. Findings in favour of gender-specific MRI differences come only from a few studies which investigated small patient populations. Assessing a much larger population of MS patients, other studies failed to find a significant impact of gender on the progression of atrophy. Otherwise, assessment of the effect of gender on specific MRI features was mostly negative.
This data thus indicates that gender does not seem to exert independent effects on morphologic changes of the brain as detected by MRI.