Altered patterns of cortical activation in ALS patients during attention and cognitive response inhibition tasks

Goldstein, L H, Newsom-Davis, I C, Bryant, V, Brammer, M, Leigh, N and Simmons, A (2011) Altered patterns of cortical activation in ALS patients during attention and cognitive response inhibition tasks. Journal of Neurology, 258 (12). pp. 2186-2198. ISSN 1432-1459

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Since amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) can be accompanied by executive dysfunction, it is hypothesised that ALS patients will have impaired performance on tests of cognitive inhibition. We predicted that ALS patients would show patterns of abnormal activation in extramotor regions when performing tests requiring the inhibition of prepotent responses (the Stroop effect) and the inhibition of prior negatively primed responses (the negative priming effect) when compared to healthy controls. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to measure activation during a sparse sequence block design paradigm investigating the Stroop and negative priming effects in 14 ALS patients and 8 healthy age- and IQ-matched controls. Behavioural measures of performance were collected. Both groups' reaction times (RTs) reflected the Stroop effect during scanning. The ALS and control groups did not differ significantly for any of the behavioural measures but did show significant differences in cerebral activation during both tasks. The ALS group showed increased activation predominantly in the left middle temporal gyrus (BA 20/21), left superior temporal gyrus (BA 22) and left anterior cingulate gyrus (BA 32). Neither group's RT data showed clear evidence of a negative priming effect. However the ALS group showed decreased activation, relative to controls, particularly in the left cingulate gyrus (BA 23/24), left precentral gyrus (BA 4/6) and left medial frontal gyrus (BA 6). Greater cerebral activation in the ALS group accompanying the performance of the Stroop effect and areas of decreased activation during the negative priming comparison suggest altered inhibitory processing in ALS, consistent with other evidence of executive dysfunction in ALS. The current findings require further exploration in a larger study.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – fMRI – Cognitive function – Response inhibition
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Clinical and Experimental Medicine
Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Neuroscience
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neurosciences. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry > RC0346 Neurology. Diseases of the nervous system Including speech disorders
Depositing User: Patricia Butler
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2012 15:52
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2017 13:41
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