Neuronal loss associated with cognitive performance in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: An (C-11)-flumazenil PET study

Paul Wicks, Martin R. Turner, Sharon Abrahams, Alexander Hammers, David J. Brooks, P. Nigel Leigh, Laura H. Goldstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a multi-system disorder. Mild cognitive deficits are present in a subgroup of non-demented patients with ALS. Detailed neuropsychological assessments reveal deficits of word retrieval including impairments on tests of verbal fluency and confrontation naming. The PET GABAA receptor ligand [C-11]-flumazenil is a marker of neuronal dysfunction in ALS. This study used [C-11]-flumazenil PET to identify correlations between cortical regions and impairments in word retrieval. Twelve patients with ALS underwent [C-11]-flumazenil PET and neuropsychological assessment, including tests of written letter fluency and confrontation naming. Poorer performance on verbal fluency correlated with decreased [C-11]-flumazenil binding in a region including the right inferior frontal gyrus, superior temporal gyrus, and anterior insula. Poorer performance on a test of confrontation naming correlated with decreased binding in the left middle frontal gyrus (extending to Broca's area) and left cuneus. This study indicates that [C-11]-flumazenil PET can be used to help localize cortical regions associated with cognitive deficits in ALS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-49
Number of pages7
JournalAmyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008


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