Objective: To examine whether frontal lobe abnormalities on magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) correlate with poor letter fluency (LF). Methods: Twenty-five patients with ALS (20 with definite, probable, or possible ALS and 5 with progressive muscular atrophy) performed an LF task, involving F word generation in 1 minute, and underwent MRS. Comparisons were made between patients with ALS with impaired LF and unimpaired LF based on an empirically derived cutoff score. A Spearman correlation was performed between the patient's N-acetyl acetate/creatinine- phosphocreatinine ratio (NAA/Cr) and the number of F words generated. Results: LF was impaired in 50% of patients with ALS. Patients with impaired LF had reduced NAA/Cr in the DLPFC compared with those with unimpaired LF (p = 0.007). There was a significant correlation between LF and NAA/Cr in the DLPFC (r = 0.51, p = 0.0009). The ALS Functional Rating Scale score, clinical region of motor onset, and disease category had no effect on LF or NAA/Cr in the DLPFC. Conclusions: A reduced NAA/Cr in the DLPFC of patients with ALS is a marker of neuronal dysfunction and correlates with impaired performance on a clinical measure of executive function.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology