Iron rim lesions linked to worse disability

Published 04 August 2022

Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) whose MRI scans show iron rim lesions (IRL) are likely to have more substantial disability, according to a new study.

IRLs are regions of chronic nervous system damage with ongoing inflammation. They are often called paramagnetic rim lesions or ‘smoldering’ lesions and have a rim caused by iron-laden inflammatory immune cells.

Location of these lesions however does not seem to affect the worse disability that they cause. The researchers in this study suggested that there could be a link between IRLs and nerve cell degeneration, but stressed a need for further research, noting that this analysis is limited by a relatively small sample size, with images taken at only one point in time, and focusing only on the brain and not the spinal cord.