Pain and Neuroinflammation Imaging Lab

Selective atrophy of the cervical enlargement in whole spinal cord MRI of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Citation:

Barry, R.L., et al., 2022. Selective atrophy of the cervical enlargement in whole spinal cord MRI of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Neuroimage Clin , 36 , pp. 103199.

Date Published:

2022 Sep 16

Abstract:

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a deadly neurodegenerative disorder affecting motor neurons in the spinal cord and brain. Studies have reported on atrophy within segments of the cervical cord, but we are not aware of previous investigations of the whole spinal cord. Herein we present our findings from a 3T MRI study involving 32 subjects (15 ALS participants and 17 healthy controls) characterizing cross-sectional area along the entire cord. We report atrophy of the cervical enlargement in ALS participants, but no evidence of atrophy of the thoracolumbar enlargement. These results suggest that MR-based analyses of the cervical cord may be sufficient for in vivo investigations of spinal cord atrophy in ALS, and that atrophy of the cervical enlargement (C4-C7) is a potential imaging marker for quantifying lower motor neuron degradation.