Esther Verstraete

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OBJECTIVES Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal disease characterised by combined upper and lower motor neuron degeneration. An early and accurate diagnosis is important for patient care and might facilitate the search for a more effective therapy. MRI was used to study the whole cortical mantle, applying an unbiased surface based approach to(More)
BACKGROUND Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease characterised by motor neuron degeneration. How this disease affects the central motor network is largely unknown. Here, we combined for the first time structural and functional imaging measures on the motor network in patients with ALS and healthy controls. (More)
The catastrophic system failure in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is characterized by progressive neurodegeneration within the corticospinal tracts, brainstem nuclei and spinal cord anterior horns, with an extra-motor pathology that has overlap with frontotemporal dementia. The development of computed tomography and, even more so, MRI has brought insights(More)
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a severe neurodegenerative disease selectively affecting upper and lower motor neurons. Patients with ALS suffer from progressive paralysis and eventually die on average after three years. The underlying neurobiology of upper motor neuron degeneration and its effects on the complex network of the brain are, however,(More)
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a severe neurodegenerative disease, which primarily targets the motor system. The structural integrity of the motor network and the way it is embedded in the overall brain network is essential for motor functioning. We studied the longitudinal effects of ALS on the brain network using diffusion tensor imaging and(More)
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease, characterized by progressive loss of motor function. While the pathogenesis of ALS remains largely unknown, imaging studies of the brain should lead to more insight into structural and functional disease effects on the brain network, which may provide valuable information on the(More)
OBJECTIVE Examine whether cortical thinning is a disease-specific phenomenon across the spectrum of motor neuron diseases in relation to upper motor neuron (UMN) involvement. METHODS 153 patients (112 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), 19 patients with a clinical UMN phenotype, 22 with a lower motor neuron (LMN) phenotype), 60 healthy controls and 43(More)
The aim of this study was to assess the involvement of deep gray matter, hippocampal subfields, and ventricular changes in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). A total of 112 ALS patients and 60 healthy subjects participated. High-resolution T1-weighted images were acquired using a 3T MRI scanner. Thirty-nine patients underwent a follow-up(More)
There have been several reports about disruption of the blood-spinal cord barrier (BSCB) and blood-brain barrier (BBB) in SOD1 mutant mice. Pathologically, microbleeds and hemosiderine deposits were found. We investigated patients with ALS for the occurrence of cerebral microbleeds with 7 Tesla MRI. Twelve patients with ALS and 12 age- and sex-matched(More)
OBJECTIVES To determine the safety and efficacy of lithium for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in a randomised, placebo controlled, double blind, sequential trial. METHODS Between November 2008 and June 2011, 133 patients were randomised to receive lithium carbonate (target blood level 0.4-0.8 mEq/l) or placebo as add-on treatment(More)