Govind Nair1, Susan Gronka2,3, Debbie Lu2, Joanne Wuu2, Xiaoping P. Hu1, Michael Benatar2
1Biomedical Imaging & Technology Center, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Emory University & Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, United States; 2Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, United States; 3University of Miami, Miami, FL, United States
The neurodegenerative changes in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are believed to start before the clinical manifestation of symptoms. While MRI can detect these changes in clinically diagnosed ALS patients, we explored the use of a metric that combines multiple MRI parameters to detect the disease state in pre-symptomatic individuals. At least one principal component from T1 and DTI data from the cortico-spinal tract and motor cortex was a good indicator of the disease state when applied to a pre-symptomatic individual who progressed to ALS and 5 repeat-tested ALS patients. Additional studies are underway to validate this model.