Objective: To demonstrate the sensitivity of a recently developed whole-brain magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) sequence to cerebral pathology and disability in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and compare with measures derived from diffusion tensor imaging. Methods: Whole-brain MRSI and diffusion tensor imaging were undertaken in 13 patients and 14 age-similar healthy controls. Mean N-acety laspartate (NAA), fractional anisotropy, and mean diffusivity were extracted from the corticospinal tract, compared between groups, and then in relation to disability in the patient group. Results: Significant reductions in NAA were found along the course of the corticospinal tracts on whole-brain MRSI. There were also significant changes in fractional anisotropy (decreased) and mean diffusivity (increased) in the patient group, but only NAA showed a significant relationship with disability (r = 0.65, p = 0.01). Conclusion: Whole-brain MRSI has potential as a quantifiable neuroimaging marker of disability in ALS. It offers renewed hope for a neuroimaging outcome measure with the potential for harmonization across multiple sites in the context of a therapeutic trial.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology