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Neurology Research International
Volume 2012, Article ID 608501, 9 pages
Review Article

Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

1Department of Neurology, Hannover Medical School, 30625 Hannover, Germany
2Department of Neurology, International Neuroscience Institute (INI), 30625 Hannover, Germany

Received 27 April 2012; Accepted 5 June 2012

Academic Editor: Erik P. Pioro

Copyright © 2012 Katja Kollewe 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.


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressing neurodegenerative disorder which is incurable to date. As there are many ongoing studies with therapeutic candidates, it is of major interest to develop biomarkers not only to facilitate early diagnosis but also as a monitoring tool to predict disease progression and to enable correct randomization of patients in clinical trials. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has made substantial progress over the last three decades and is a practical, noninvasive method to gain insights into the pathology of the disease. Disease-specific MRI changes therefore represent potential biomarkers for ALS. In this paper we give an overview of structural and functional MRI alterations in ALS with the focus on task-free resting-state investigations to detect cortical network failures.