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AAN 2022 | The effects of cardiovascular comorbidities on clinical and cognitive measures of multiple sclerosis

Dejan Jakimovski, MD, PhD, Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center, Buffalo, NY, talks about how cardiovascular comorbidities, such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, and heart disease, are associated with worse clinical outcomes in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Patients with comorbidities have higher relapse rates and disability progression, but also increased MRI lesions and brain volume loss. In fact, they seem to be losing twice the amount of brain volume compared to a matched patient without the cardiovascular comorbidity. Furthermore, cerebral arterial blood flow is significantly associated with cognitive performance of patients with MS, whereby patients with lower blood flow underperform in cognitive tests such as the Symbol Digit Modality Test and BICAMS battery for tracking cognitive performance in MS. This interview took place at the American Academy of Neurology 2022 Congress in Seattle, WA.