Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Lesion Burden

  • Shawn GaleEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_9065


Brain injury; Brain lesions; Disease burden; Lesion load; Volume loss; White matter lesions, WML


Lesion burden, a phrase sometimes used interchangeably with lesion load, is a term that may be similar to the idea in medicine of disease burden but in the neuroimaging literature often refers to the overall cumulative effect or burden of brain lesions identified by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Current Knowledge

Lesion burden has been studied extensively in the field of multiple sclerosis (MS) and typically refers to white matter lesions (WML). Studies in MS may analyze both T1- and T2-weighted MRI identified lesion burden, for example, as well as concomitant brain volume, as they are associated with clinical outcomes such as health-related quality of life (Mowry et al. 2009), cognitive dysfunction (Patti et al. 2015), and even fatigue (Tedeschi et al. 2009, 2007). The idea of lesion burden or load has also been used with other populations such as stroke in terms...

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References and Readings

  1. Bigler, E. D., & Stern, Y. (2015). Traumatic brain injury and reserve. In J. Grafman & A. M. Salazar (Eds.), Traumatic brain injury part II, handbook of clinical neurology (Vol. 128, pp. 691–710). Waltham: Elsevier.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Marchina, S., Zhu, L. L., Norton, A., Zipse, L., Wan, C. Y., & Schlaug, G. (2011). Impairment of speech production predicted by lesion load of the left arcuate fasciculus. Stroke, 42(8), 2251–2256.  https://doi.org/10.1161/strokeaha.110.606103.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. Mowry, E. M., Beheshtian, A., Waubant, E., Goodin, D. S., Cree, B. A., Qualley, P., …, & Pelletier, D. (2009). Quality of life in multiple sclerosis is associated with lesion burden and brain volume measures. Neurology, 72(20), 1760–1765.  https://doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181a609f8.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Neuroscience CenterBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA