Diffusion Tensor Imaging in the Diagnosis of Primary Lateral Sclerosis

Aziz M. Uluǧ, Thomas Grünewald, Michael T. Lin, Ayeesha K. Kamal, Christopher G. Filippi, Robert D. Zimmerman, M. Flint Beal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To evaluate the utility of MR diffusion tensor imaging in diagnosing primary lateral sclerosis (PLS). Materials and Methods: Five patients who met clinical criteria for a diagnosis of PLS, and two patients with possible PLS of less than three years duration and eight normal volunteers were studied using MR diffusion tensor imaging. Results: All seven patients showed decreased diffusion anisotropy and increased diffusion constant in the PLIC, with complete separation from a normal control group, including patients early in the course of the illness. Conclusion: Quantitative diffusion tensor imaging appears to be a useful test to detect upper motor neuron damage and hence to help to establish the diagnosis of PLS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-39
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • ALS
  • Babinski sign
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • MRI
  • Primary lateral sclerosis
  • Upper motor neuron disease


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