The Role of Molecular Imaging as a Marker of Remyelination and Repair in Multiple Sclerosis

Ido Ben-Shalom, Arnon Karni, Hadar Kolb

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The appearance of new disease-modifying therapies in multiple sclerosis (MS) has revolutionized our ability to fight inflammatory relapses and has immensely improved patients' quality of life. Although remarkable, this achievement has not carried over into reducing long-term disability. In MS, clinical disability progression can continue relentlessly irrespective of acute inflammation. This "silent" disease progression is the main contributor to long-term clinical disability in MS and results from chronic inflammation, neurodegeneration, and repair failure. Investigating silent disease progression and its underlying mechanisms is a challenge. Standard MRI excels in depicting acute inflammation but lacks the pathophysiological lens required for a more targeted exploration of molecular-based processes. Novel modalities that utilize nuclear magnetic resonance's ability to display in vivo information on imaging look to bridge this gap. Displaying the CNS through a molecular prism is becoming an undeniable reality. This review will focus on "molecular imaging biomarkers" of disease progression, modalities that can harmoniously depict anatomy and pathophysiology, making them attractive candidates to become the first valid biomarkers of neuroprotection and remyelination.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 31 Dec 2021


  • disease progression
  • magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS)
  • molecular biomarkers
  • multiple sclerosis
  • neurodegeneration
  • neuroprotection
  • positron emission tomography (PET)
  • remyelination
  • sodium imaging


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