Subcortical structures in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Henk Jan Westeneng, Esther Verstraete, Renée Walhout, Ruben Schmidt, Jeroen Hendrikse, Jan H. Veldink, Martijn P. van den Heuvel, Leonard H. van den Berg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The aim of this study was to assess the involvement of deep gray matter, hippocampal subfields, and ventricular changes in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). A total of 112 ALS patients and 60 healthy subjects participated. High-resolution T1-weighted images were acquired using a 3T MRI scanner. Thirty-nine patients underwent a follow-up scan. Volumetric and shape analyses of subcortical structures were performed, measures were correlated with clinical parameters, and longitudinal changes were assessed. At baseline, reduced hippocampal volumes (left: p= 0.007; right: p= 0.011) and larger inferior lateral ventricles (left: p= 0.013; right: p= 0.041) were found in patients compared to healthy controls. Longitudinal analyses demonstrated a significant decrease in volume of the right cornu ammonis 2/3 and 4/dentate gyrus and left presubiculum (. p= 0.002, p= 0.045, p < 0.001), and a significant increase in the ventricular volume in the lateral (left: p < 0.001; right: p < 0.001), 3rd (. p < 0.001) and 4th (. p= 0.001) ventricles. Larger ventricles were associated with a lower ALSFRS-R score (. p= 0.021). In conclusion, ALS patients show signs of neurodegeneration of subcortical structures and ventricular enlargement. Subcortical involvement is progressive and correlates with clinical parameters, highlighting its role in the neurodegenerative process in ALS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1075-1082
Number of pages8
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Basal ganglia
  • Hippocampal subfields
  • Longitudinal
  • Magnetic resonance imaging


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