Brain structure in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia

Takeaway

  • Cortical mean diffusivity (CMD) is a potentially useful biomarker for the study of extra-motor cortical neurodegeneration in the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-frontotemporal dementia (ALS-FTD) clinical spectrum.

Why this matters

  • Studies suggest that ALS and FTD are not discrete conditions but lie on a clinical and pathological spectrum; however, the cortical correlates underlying extra-motor and cognitive/behavioral changes along this spectrum are not clearly understood.

  • Identification of an early biomarker that shows subtle microstructural changes predating gray matter loss along this continuum may be valuable for developing targeted treatment strategies for each stage, and could significantly impact patient longevity and quality of life.