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Evaluation of White Matter Tracts Fractional Anisotropy Using Tract-Based Spatial Statistics and Its correlation with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale Score in Patients with Motor Neuron DiseaseFunding None.
Background Motor neuron diseases cause progressive degeneration of upper and lower motor neurons. No Indian studies are available on diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) findings in these patients.
Aims This study was done to identify white matter tracts that have reduced fractional anisotropy (FA) in motor neuron disease (MND) patients using tract-based spatial statistics and to correlate FA values with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R) score.
Settings and Design A case–control study in a tertiary care hospital.
Materials and Methods We did DTI sequence (20 gradient directions, b-value 1,000) in 15 MND patients (10 men and 5 women; mean age: 46.5 ± 16.5 years; 11 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis [ALS], 2 monomelic amyotrophy, 1 progressive muscular atrophy, and 1 bulbar ALS) and 15 age- and sex-matched controls. The data set from each subject was postprocessed using FSL downloaded from the FMRIB Software Library, Oxford, United Kingdom (http://www.fmrib.ox.ac.uk/fsl).
Statistical Analysis The statistical permutation tool “randomize” with 5,000 permutations was used to identify voxels that were different between the patient data set and the control data set. Mean FA values of these voxels were obtained separately for each tract as per “JHU white-matter tractography atlas.” SPSS was used to look to correlate tract-wise mean FA value with ALSFRS-R score.
Results We found clusters of reduced FA values in multiple tracts in the brain of patients with MND. Receiver operating characteristic curves plotted for individual tracts, showed that bilateral corticospinal tract, bilateral anterior thalamic radiation, bilateral uncinate fasciculus, and right superior longitudinal fasciculus were the best discriminators (area under the curve > 0.8, p < 0.01). FA values did not correlate with ALFRS-R severity score.
Conclusion In MND patients, not only the motor tracts, but several nonmotor association tracts are additionally affected, reflecting nonmotor pathological processes in ALS.
28 July 2021 (online)
© 2021. Indian Radiological Association. This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial-License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commercial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
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