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Abstract #1973

T1-Weighted Images Detect Motor Neuron Degeneration in ALS

Govind Nair1, John D. Carew2,3, Sharon Usher4, Michael Benatar4,5, Xiaoping P. Hu1

1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, United States; 2Institute for Health Studies, Carolinas HealthCare System, Charlotte, NC, United States; 3School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, United States; 4Department of Neurology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, United States; 5Department of Epidemiology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, United States

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting the motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. VBM analysis performed on T1-weighted images of the brain revealed significant changes in the motor cortex and supporting white matter of ALS patients compared with age-matched healthy control subjects. ROI analysis revealed a significant decrease in signal intensity from these regions, with signal intensity of ALS group showing significant correlation with clinical measures of disease severity. These findings suggest that T1-weighted images may have utility as an imaging biomarker of disease progression in ALS.