Supratentorial Multiple Sclerosis Lesions Affect the Blink Reflex Test



Efthimios H Mikropoulos*, 1, Afroditi A Papathanasiou 2, Georgios Hadjigeorgiou 1, Evangelia Tsironi 3, Alex Papadimitriou 1
1 Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, University of Thessaly, P.O. Box 1400, Mezourlo Hill, Larissa, Greece
2 Department of Biomathematics, Faculty of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, University of Thessaly, P.O. Box 1400, Mezourlo Hill, Larissa, Greece
3 Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, University of Thessaly, P.O. Box 1400, Mezourlo Hill, Larissa, Greece


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© Mikropoulos et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at 41, Ypsilantou Str., Athens 106-76, Greece; Tel: (30)-697-588-3151; Fax: (30)-210-674-6756; Email: timikro@pol.net


Abstract

Introduction

The Blink Reflex Test (BRT) is a neurophysiological examination used for evaluation of brainstem reflex circuits. MRI is the most precise modality for evaluation of MS lesion anatomy. Our study objective was to investigate how the functional results of the neurophysiological BRT relate to the anatomy of MS lesions in routine MRI studies.

Methods

65 MS patients underwent the BRT within 2 months of a brain MRI showing demyelinating lesions.

Results

The overall sensitivity of the BRT was 90.8%, while in patients with at least one brainstem lesion and no brainstem lesions it was 91.4% and 90%, respectively.

Discussion

The presence of brainstem lesions does not significantly affect BRT sensitivity. This points to the influence of supratentorial MS lesions on the BRT. Gender, age, disease duration, type of MS, acuteness of an MS event and whether MS diagnosis was recent or not were not variables affecting the results.

Keywords: Blink Reflex Test, Multiple Sclerosis, MRI Brain, Supratentorial Lesions, Brainstem.