NAVIGATED TRANSCRANIAL MAGNETIC STIMULATION IN AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS

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Abstract

Introduction:

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a set of disorders associated with preferential degeneration of both upper and lower motor neurons. Navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) is a tool used to perform noninvasive functional brain mapping. We aimed to assess function of upper motor neurons in ALS. Methods: nTMS was performed on 30 patients with ALS (mean age 54.4 ± 12.1 years) and 24 healthy volunteers (mean age 32.7 ± 13.3 years). Results: The resting motor threshold (MT) was significantly higher in ALS patients compared with controls (P < 0.001). The mean map areas were smaller in patients with ALS than in healthy individuals, although some patients with short disease duration had extended maps. Conclusions: Motor area maps serve as markers of upper motor neuron damage in ALS. Further research may elucidate the pathogenic mechanisms of the neurodegenerative process and aid in development of diagnostic and prognostic markers. Muscle Nerve51: 125–131, 2015

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