Background: Ongoing efforts have been made to identify new neuroimaging markers to track amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) progression. This study aimed to explore the monitoring value of multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the disease progression of ALS. Methods: From September 2015 to March 2017, ten patients diagnosed with ALS in Peking Union Medical College Hospital completed head MRI scans at baseline and during follow-up. Multimodal MRI analyses, including gray matter (GM) volume measured by voxel-based morphometry;cerebral blood flow (CBF) evaluated by arterial spin labeling;functional connectivity, including low-frequency fluctuation (fALFF) and regional homogeneity (ReHo), measured by resting-state functional MRI;and integrity of white-matter (WM) fiber tracts evaluated by diffusion tensor imaging, were performed in these patients. Comparisons of imaging metrics were made between baseline and follow-up using paired t-test. Results: In the longitudinal comparisons, the brain structure (GM volume of the right precentral gyri, left postcentral gyri, and right thalami) and perfusion (CBF of the bilateral temporal poles, left precentral gyri, postcentral gyri, and right middle temporal gyri) in both motor and extramotor areas at follow-up were impaired to different extents when compared with those at baseline (all P < 0.05, false discovery rate adjusted). Functional connectivity was increased in the motor areas (fALFF of the right precentral gyri and superior frontal gyri, and ReHo of right precentral gyri) and decreased in the extramotor areas (fALFF of the bilateral middle frontal gyri and ReHo of the right precuneus and cingulate gyri) (all P < 0.001, unadjusted). No significant changes were detected in terms of brain WM measures. Conclusion: Multimodal MRI could be used to monitor short-term brain changes in ALS patients.
Chinese Medical Journal
a grant of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences Innovation Fund for Medical Sciences (No.2016-I2M-1-004).
Dong-Chao Shen ,Dong-Chao Shen and Yin-Yan Xu contributed equally in this study;Yin-Yan Xu,Dong-Chao Shen and Yin-Yan Xu contributed equally in this study;Address for correspondence:Prof.Li-Ying Cui, Department of Neurology,Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences,Beijing 100730,China E-Mail:firstname.lastname@example.org.