MRI-based Biomarkers for Characterization of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Figure 1. MR measurement of the cerebrospinal fluid spaces in a healthy adult female.



Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressive neurological disorder that affects approximately 3.9 in 100,000 people within the United States. This devastating disease leads to degeneration of motor neurons and certain death. Research shows that 90 to 95 percent of ALS cases appear to occur at random, with no clearly associated biomarkers. Only 5-10 percent of ALS cases are inherited. Current neuroimaging techniques are only partly capable of characterizing ALS into distinct clinical phenotypes. Early stages of ALS can be similar to a wide variety of more treatable disorders. Thus, there is an urgent need to identify ALS biomarkers that allow earlier diagnosis and to recognize disease subtypes. The goal of the proposed study is to, for the first time, quantify spinal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) dynamics and geometry in participants with ALS using advanced engineering analysis of non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measurements.

Study Information

We are currently enrolling subjects for this study. This study involves 1 non-invasive MRI scan at Inland Imaging in Spokane, WA. Subjects with diagnosed ALS and age/gender matched controls are needed. Participants must be able to lay on their back in the MRI scanner for the 1-hour scanning period. We can provide the MR images to participants free of charge. Please click on the links below to learn more.