The time course of mu and beta sensorimotor rhythms, with event-related desynchronisation (ERD) to preparation and execution of voluntary movement followed by synchronisation (ERS) after movement, is considered to indicate cortical activation and idling, respectively. We investigated ERD and ERS in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients and the relationship with anatomical and neurophysiological measures of corticospinal tract damage.
Pre-movement mu and beta ERD, and post-movement beta ERS were analysed in 16 ALS patients and 15 healthy controls performing self-paced brisk right thumb extensions. Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) of corticospinal tract was measured with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) to the right abductor pollicis brevis were obtained using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
Movement-related electromyographic activity was similar in the two groups. Post-movement ERS was significantly reduced in ALS group and negatively correlated with the amount of corticospinal damage as from MRI and TMS measures. ERD did not significantly differ between groups.
Alterations of cortical activity in ALS patients were limited to the post-movement phase, as indicated by reduced ERS, and could be linked to reduced cortical inhibition rather than to generalised hyperexcitability.
The correlation between ERS and corticospinal damage severity might be interpreted as a functional compensation or dysfunction of inhibitory systems paralleling corticospinal damage.
Clinical Neurophysiology 02/2012; · 3.41 Impact Factor