Rates of white matter hyperintensities compatible with the radiological profile of multiple sclerosis within self-referred synesthete populations

Simner, Julia, Carmichael, Duncan A, Hubbard, Edward M, Morris, Zoe and Lawrie, Stephen M (2015) Rates of white matter hyperintensities compatible with the radiological profile of multiple sclerosis within self-referred synesthete populations. Neurocase, 21 (3). pp. 322-330. ISSN 1355-4794

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Abstract

Synesthesia is an inherited condition causing unusual secondary sensations (e.g, sounds might be experienced as both auditory and visual percepts). The condition has been linked with cognitive and perceptual benefits and is considered a benign alternative form of perception. Here, we investigate self-referred synesthete populations and their rates of radiologically determined white matter hyperintensities (WMH) of a type compatible with the McDonald imaging criteria for the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS). MS is a chronic condition resulting in damage to myelination surrounding nerve fibers of the central nervous system (CNS). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features highly suggestive of MS without overt clinical symptoms are termed radiologically isolated syndrome (RIS). We present data showing that the shared MRI profile of MS and RIS has been significantly overrepresented in synesthetes who have participated in neuroimaging research. We present validation of the clinical and MRI status of these synesthetes and an analysis showing the significant probability their unusual numbers may not have arisen by chance. We discuss how to interpret significant data based on small case numbers and consider the implications of our findings for synesthesia’s clinical status.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Depositing User: Anna Hobbs
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2015 12:09
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2015 12:09
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/57041
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