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Author Notes:

X. Hu, Department of Bioengineering, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA. Tel.: +1‐951‐827‐2925; Fax: +1‐951‐827‐6416; E‐mail: xhu@engr.ucr.edu

J. Hu, Department of Neurology, Southwest Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, China. Tel.: +86‐23‐6875‐4419; Fax: +86‐23‐6546‐3725; E‐mail: hujun_1978@163.com

The first two authors contributed equally to this work.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Subjects:

Research Funding:

This work was supported by funds from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 81200882, 31671169), the Natural Science Foundation of Chongqing (Grant No. CSTC2016jcyjA2163), and the Natural Science Foundation of SZU (Grant No. 201564, 000099).

Keywords:

  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Neurosciences
  • Pharmacology & Pharmacy
  • Neurosciences & Neurology
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Probabilistic tractography
  • Thalamocortical connectivity
  • HUMAN CONNECTOME PROJECT
  • BASAL GANGLIA
  • IMAGE-ANALYSIS
  • DIFFUSION MRI
  • INVOLVEMENT
  • THALAMUS
  • CORTEX
  • PARCELLATION
  • TRACTOGRAPHY
  • MORPHOMETRY

Differential Impairment of Thalamocortical Structural Connectivity in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Tools:

Journal Title:

CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics

Volume:

Volume 23, Number 2

Publisher:

, Pages 155-161

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF

Abstract:

Aims: The thalamus is a major relay station that modulates input from many cortical areas and a filter for sensory input and is involved in the pathophysiology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, it still remains unclear whether all thalamocortical networks are affected or whether there is selective vulnerability. In this study, we aimed to study the selective vulnerability of different thalamocortical structural connections in ALS and to test the hypothesis of a specific impairment in motor-related thalamocortical connectivity. Methods: Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) tractography was used to identify thalamocortical structural pathways in 38 individuals with ALS and 35 gender/age-matched control subjects. Thalami of both groups were parcellated into subregions based on local patterns of thalamocortical connectivity. DTI measures of these distinct thalamocortical connections were derived and compared between groups. Results: The analysis of probabilistic tractography showed that the structural connectivity between bilateral pre/primary motor cortices and associated thalamic subregions was specifically impaired in patients with ALS, while the other thalamocortical connections remained relatively intact. In addition, fractional anisotropy values of the impaired thalamocortical motor pathway were inversely correlated with the disease duration. Conclusion: Our findings provide direct evidence for selective impairment of the thalamocortical structural connectivity in ALS.

Copyright information:

© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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