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Iron Neurotoxicity in MS

Chair: Robert Zivadinov, MD, PhD (University at Buffalo)

While iron has an important role in the normal functioning of the brain owing to its involvement in several physiological processes, dyshomeostasis has been found in many neurodegenerative disorders, as evidenced by both histopathological and imaging studies. Although the exact causes have remained elusive, the fact that altered iron levels have been found in disparate diseases suggests that iron may contribute to their development and/or progression. As such, the processes involved in iron dyshomeostasis may represent novel therapeutic targets. There are, however, many questions about the exact interplay between neurodegeneration and altered iron homeostasis. Some insight can be gained by considering the parallels with respect to what occurs in healthy aging, which is also characterized by increased iron throughout many regions in the brain along with progressive neurodegeneration. Nevertheless, the exact mechanisms of iron-mediated damage are likely disease specific to a certain degree, given that iron plays a crucial role in many disparate biological processes, which are not always affected in the same way across different neurodegenerative disorders. Moreover, it is not even entirely clear yet whether iron actually has a causative role in all of the diseases where altered iron levels have been noted. For example, there is strong evidence of iron dyshomeostasis leading to neurodegeneration in some neurologic diseases, but there is still some question as to whether changes in iron levels are merely an epiphenomenon in multiple sclerosis (MS). Recent advances in neuroimaging now offer the possibility to detect and monitor tissue iron levels in vivo (susceptibility weighted-imaging, quantitative susceptibility mapping), identifiy chronic active lesions in MS patients (PRLs, paramagnetic rim lesions), which allows for an improved understanding of both the temporal and spatial dynamics of iron changes and associated neurodegeneration compared to post-mortem studies. In this regard, iron-based imaging will likely play an important role in the development of therapeutic approaches aimed at addressing altered iron dynamics in neurodegenerative diseases. Level of Information: Intermediate


Speaker: Robert Zivadinov, MD, PhD (University at Buffalo)


Neurotoxicity of Iron in MS

Speaker: V. Wee Yong, PhD (University of Calgary)


Imaging of Iron in MS

Speaker: Ferdinand Schweser, PhD (University at Buffalo)


Paramagnetic Rim Lesions in MS

Speaker: Martina Absinta, MD, PhD (Johns Hopkins University)


Role of Iron in MS: Should We Target Neurodegeneration and Repair?

Speaker: Robert Zivadinov, MD, PhD (University at Buffalo)



Science of MS | Symposium


Intermediate, Advanced


AAPA: 2.75
ACPE: 2.75
CME: 2.75
NCPD: 2.75