Lidia Sarro1, Federica Agosta1, Elisa Canu1, Nilo Riva2, 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; 3Ospedale Fatebenefratellie Oftalmico, Milan, Italy; 4Biostatistics Unit, IRCCS-Ospedale Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza, San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy
This study investigated the relationship between executive functioning and white matter (WM) tract damage in 16 non-demented patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In ALS patients, Trail Making test scores significantly correlated with the microstructural alterations of the corpus callosum, the major cortico-cortical association tracts, and the CST, bilaterally. Performances on fluency were related to decreased fractional anisotropy of the left cingulum and right inferior longitudinal fasciculus in ALS patients. The relationship between brain damage and executive performance in non-demented ALS patients suggests that DT MRI may have the potential to identify ALS patients at risk for cognitive impairment.