Federica Agosta1, Paola Valsasina1, Martina Absinta1, Nilo Riva2, Stefania Sala1, Alessandro Prelle3, Massimiliano Copetti4, Mauro Comola2, Giancarlo Comi2, Massimo Filippi1
1Neuroimaging Research Unit, Institute of Experimental Neurology, Division of Neuroscience, Scientific Institute & University Hospital San Raffaele, Milan, Italy; 2Department of Neurology, Scientific Institute & University Hospital San Raffaele, Milan, Italy; 33Ospedale Fatebenefratelli e Oftalmico, Milan, Italy; 4Biostatistics Unit, IRCCS-Ospedale Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza, San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy
Patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) vs. controls showed a significantly increased functional connectivity between the left primary sensorimotor cortex (SMC) and the right cingulate cortex, parahippocampal gyrus, and cerebellum-crus II. The pattern of increased functional connectivity to the left SMC was more widespread when considering only patients with no corticospinal tract damage than the whole group of patients. In ALS patients, disease severity correlated with reduced SMC functional connectivity. Functional brain changes do occur in ALS. These changes might have a role in compensate for (limited) structural damage and might exhaust with increasing burden of disease pathology.