Divergent brain network connectivity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Federica Agosta, Elisa Canu, Paola Valsasina, Nilo Riva, Alessandro Prelle, Giancarlo Comi, Massimo Filippi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Using resting state (RS) functional magnetic resonance imaging and independent component analysis, the integrity of brain networks related to cognition and behavior was investigated in 20 nondemented patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The association between RS functional connectivity and executive functions was assessed in 16 patients with neuropsychological assessment. ALS patients compared with control subjects showed a decreased connectivity of the right orbitofrontal cortex, and an enhanced connectivity of the left precuneus in the default mode network; a decreased connectivity of the left inferior frontal cortex, and an increased connectivity of the right angular gyrus in the right frontoparietal network; and an increased connectivity of the parietal cortex in the left frontoparietal network. The enhanced parietal connectivity was associated with the clinical and cognitive deficits of the patients. In ALS, an alteration of large-scale functional brain networks associated with cognition does occur, even in the absence of overt dementia. The increased parietal connectivity may have a role in an attempt to maintain cognitive efficiency in the presence of structural frontotemporal injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-427
Number of pages9
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Executive functions
  • Resting state functional MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Ageing
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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