Interhemispheric connectivity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A near-infrared spectroscopy and diffusion tensor imaging study.Neuroimage Clin. 2016; 12:666-672.NC
Aim of the present study was to investigate potential impairment of non-motor areas in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). In particular, we evaluated whether homotopic resting-state functional connectivity (rs-FC) of non-motor associated cortical areas correlates with clinical parameters and disease-specific degeneration of the corpus callosum (CC) in ALS.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Interhemispheric homotopic rs-FC was assessed in 31 patients and 30 healthy controls (HCs) for 8 cortical sites, from prefrontal to occipital cortex, using NIRS. DTI was performed in a subgroup of 21 patients. All patients were evaluated for cognitive dysfunction in the executive, memory, and visuospatial domains.
ALS patients displayed an altered spatial pattern of correlation between homotopic rs-FC values when compared to HCs (p = 0.000013). In patients without executive dysfunction a strong correlation existed between the rate of motor decline and homotopic rs-FC of the anterior temporal lobes (ATLs) (ρ = - 0.85, p = 0.0004). Furthermore, antero-temporal homotopic rs-FC correlated with fractional anisotropy in the central corpus callosum (CC), corticospinal tracts (CSTs), and forceps minor as determined by DTI (p < 0.05).
The present study further supports involvement of non-motor areas in ALS. Our results render homotopic rs-FC as assessed by NIRS a potential clinical marker for disease progression rate in ALS patients without executive dysfunction and a potential anatomical marker for ALS-specific degeneration of the CC and CSTs.