Brain cells can compensate the effect of damage caused by MS. This means that MS progression depends, indirectly, on the number of brain cells that exist even before the onset. If there are more brain cells at the beginning it may take the brain longer to burn out and show signs of physical disability progression. This phenomenon is called brain reserve, and depends on the volume of the whole brain.

In this study, researchers from USA looked at the brain volume in people with MS from Serbia and found that those with higher brain growth over a lifetime, which is indirectly related to brain volume, were less likely to become disabled after five years of follow up.

Future studies should investigate whether the effects of brain growth is high enough to be used in clinical practice.

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