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Spinal cord markers in ALS: Diagnostic and biomarker considerations.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22329869     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Despite considerable involvement of the spinal cord in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), current biomarker research is primarily centred on brain imaging and CSF proteomics. In clinical practice, spinal cord imaging in ALS is performed primarily to rule out alternative conditions in the diagnostic phase of the disease. Quantitative spinal cord imaging has traditionally been regarded as challenging, as it requires high spatial resolution while minimizing partial volume effects, physiological motion and susceptibility distortions. In recent years however, as acquisition and post-processing methods have been perfected, a number of exciting and promising quantitative spinal imaging and electrophysiology techniques have been developed. We performed a systematic review of the trends, methodologies, limitations and conclusions of recent spinal cord studies in ALS to explore the diagnostic and prognostic potential of spinal markers. Novel corrective techniques for quantitative spinal cord imaging are systematically reviewed. Recent findings demonstrate that imaging techniques previously used in brain imaging, such as diffusion tensor, functional and metabolic imaging can now be successfully applied to the human spinal cord. Optimized electrophysiological approaches make the non-invasive assessment of corticospinal pathways possible, and multimodal spinal techniques are likely to increase the specificity and sensitivity of proposed spinal markers. In conclusion, spinal cord imaging is an emerging area of ALS biomarker research. Novel quantitative spinal modalities have already been successfully used in ALS animal models and have the potential for development into sensitive ALS biomarkers in humans.
Authors:
Peter Bede; Arun L W Bokde; Susan Byrne; Marwa Elamin; Andrew J Fagan; Orla Hardiman
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-2-13
Journal Detail:
Title:  Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis : official publication of the World Federation of Neurology Research Group on Motor Neuron Diseases     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1471-180X     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-2-14     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101283386     Medline TA:  Amyotroph Lateral Scler     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Affiliation:
Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience , Dublin.
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