International Journal of Psychology & Behavior Analysis Volume 5 (2019), Article ID 5:IJPBA-163, 7 pages
Original Article
Brain Plasticity and Cognitive Reserve in Multiple Sclerosis

Mattioli F1,*, Pinardi C2,3,4, Scarpazza C1,5, Bellomi F1, Ambrosi C2, Stampatori C1, Mascaro L2,3, Besana M2, Gasparotti R2 and Capra R5

1Neuropsychology Unit, Spedali Civili of Brescia, Brescia, Italy
2Neuroimaging Lab, Department of Medical and Surgical Specialties, Radiological Sciences and Public Health, University of Brescia, Italy
3Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Medical Physics Unit, Italy
4School of Medical Physics, University of Milano, Italy
5Multiple Sclerosis Center of the Spedali Civili of Brescia, Montichiari, Italy
Prof. Flavia Mattioli, Spedali Civili of Brescia, Neuropsychology Unit Via Nikolajewka, 1325123 Brescia, Italy, Tel: 00390302027218; E-mail:
07 June 2019; 16 July 2019; 18 July 2019
Mattioli F, Pinardi C, Scarpazza C, Bellomi F, Ambrosi C, et al. (2019) Brain Plasticity and Cognitive Reserve in Multiple Sclerosis. Int J Psychol Behav Anal 5: 163. doi:


Objective: Functional magnetic resonance imaging, largely used to investigate neuroplasticity related to cognition in Multiple Sclerosis, has been seldom employed to investigate functional correlates of Cognitive Reserve-the result of people’s education and lifetime cultural enrichment - known to mitigate cognitive decline. The current investigation aims to investigate functional correlates of Cognitive Reserve and cognitive impairment in Multiple Sclerosis.
Methods: Cognitive Reserve Index and Cognitive Impairment Index were measured in 20 MS patients and 13 healthy controls and correlated with the cortical activations obtained during an event related MRI.
Results: A direct correlation between Cognitive Impairment Index and cortical activations in several regions of interest (left inferior frontal gyrus, right middle frontal gyrus, right inferior parietal lobule and middle cingulated gyrus) and an inverse correlation between Cognitive Reserve Index and activations in the middle cingulated cortex, the left inferior frontal gyrus and the right inferior parietal lobule were found.
Conclusions: The different patterns of functional activations found may be interpreted as a loss of compensatory mechanisms in cognitively impaired patients due to MS pathology and as greater efficiency in patients with higher cognitive reserve. This underlines the different meaning that functional MRI results may represent.