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Brain metabolic changes across King's stages in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a 18F-2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose-positron emission tomography study.

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Calvo, Andrea 
Moglia, Cristina 
Manera, Umberto 
Vasta, Rosario 


PURPOSE: To assess the brain metabolic correlates of the different regional extent of ALS, evaluated with the King's staging system, using brain 18F-2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose-PET (18F-FDG-PET). METHODS: Three hundred ninety ALS cases with King's stages 1, 2, and 3 (n = 390), i.e., involvement of 1, 2, and 3 body regions respectively, underwent brain 18F-FDG-PET at diagnosis. King's stage at PET was derived from ALSFRS-R and was regressed out against whole-brain metabolism in the whole sample. The full factorial design confirmed the hypothesis that differences among groups (King's 1, King's 2, King's 3, and 40 healthy controls (HC)) existed overall. Comparisons among stages and between each group and HC were performed. We included age at PET and sex as covariates. RESULTS: Brain metabolism was inversely correlated with stage in medial frontal gyrus bilaterally, and right precentral and postcentral gyri. The full factorial design resulted in a significant main effect of groups. There was no significant difference between stages 1 and 2. Comparing stage 3 to stage 1+2, a significant relative hypometabolism was highlighted in the former in the left precentral and medial frontal gyri, and in the right medial frontal, postcentral, precentral, and middle frontal gyri. The comparisons between each group and HC showed the extension of frontal metabolic changes from stage 1 to stage 3, with the larger metabolic gap between stages 2 and 3. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support the hypothesis that in ALS, the propagation of neurodegeneration follows a corticofugal, regional ordered pattern, extending from the motor cortex to posterior and anterior regions.



18F-FDG-PET, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, King’s staging system, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Brain, Fluorodeoxyglucose F18, Glucose, Humans, Positron-Emission Tomography

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Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC


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Medical Research Council (MC_UU_00005/1)