SENSORY AND MOTOR SYSTEMSLongitudinal monitoring of motor neuron circuitry in FALS rats using in-vivo phMRIChoi, Ji-Kyunga; Dedeoglu, Alpaslanb c d; Jenkins, Bruce G.aAuthor Information aAthinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Charlestown bDepartment of Veterans Affairs, VA Medical Center, Jamaica Plain cDepartment of Biochemistry dDepartment of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA Correspondence to Bruce G. Jenkins, PhD, Director of Neurochemical Imaging, Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 149-2301, 13th Street, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA Tel: +1 617 726 5816; fax: +1 617 726 7422; e-mail: email@example.com Received 13 July 2009 accepted 16 July 2009 NeuroReport: February 17th, 2010 - Volume 21 - Issue 3 - p 157-162 doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e328330eb9e Buy Metrics Abstract Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) presents challenges for diagnosis and objective monitoring of disease progression. We show, using pharmacologic MRI, that alterations in motor circuitry can be characterized using a passive stimulus in a rat model of familial ALS as a function of symptom progression. Presymptomatic familial ALS rats had a pattern of activation to amphetamine that was statistically indistinguishable from the wild-type controls. In contrast, symptomatic rats showed significantly decreased response in sensorimotor cortex and increased response in M2 motor cortex, caudate/putamen, and thalamus. These results are similar to findings in humans of altered response to motor tasks in ALS. It may be plausible to use a passive amphetamine challenge as a biomarker to assess progression of the disease and efficacy of potential treatments. © 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.