Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 473250, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/473250
Research Article

Side of Limb-Onset Predicts Laterality of Gray Matter Loss in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

1Department of Medical Imaging, First Affiliated Hospital, Medical College Xi’an Jiaotong University, 277 West Yanta Road, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710061, China
2Department of Neurology, First Affiliated Hospital Medical College Xi’an Jiaotong University, 277 West Yanta Road, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710061, China
3The Key Laboratory of Biomedical Information Engineering, Ministry of Education and Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Life Science and Technology, Xi’an Jiaotong University, No. 28, Xianning West Road, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710049, China

Received 26 February 2014; Accepted 3 June 2014; Published 1 July 2014

Academic Editor: Lin Ai

Copyright © 2014 Qiuli Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Conflicting findings have been reported regarding the lateralized brain abnormality in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In this study, we aimed to investigate the probable lateralization of gray matter (GM) atrophy in ALS patients. We focused on the relationship between the asymmetry in decreased GM volume and the side of disease onset in patients with limb-onset. Structural imaging evaluation of normalized atrophy (SIENAX) and voxel-based morphometry (VBM) were used to assess differences in global and local brain regions in patients with heterogeneous body onset and subgroups with different side of limb-onset. We found global brain atrophy and GM losses in the frontal and parietal areas in each patient group as well as left predominant GM losses in the total cohort. The intriguing findings in subgroup analyses demonstrated that the motor cortex in the contralateral hemisphere of the initially involved limb was most affected. We also found that regional brain atrophy was related to disease progression rate. Our observations suggested that side of limb-onset can predict laterality of GM loss in ALS patients and disease progression correlates with the extent of cortical abnormality.