Vascular versus neuronal defects in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: an fMRI study.
Sage C, Sunaert S, Peeters R, Robberecht W
University Hospital of the Catholic University of Leuven
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative condition of complex pathology, primarily involving motor neurons in the cerebral cortex, the brainstem and the spinal cord. Patients lose the ability to generate and execute voluntary movements. Apart from neuronal loss, vascular deficits could play a role in the physiopathology of ALS. We performed an fMRI study, assessing the activation pattern in the brain during the performance of a motor task, an imaginary motor task and an alternating hyperventilation/breath-hold task. The obtained activation patterns were compared to controls, to evaluate whether vascular and/or neuronal defects contribute to the physiopathology of ALS.