“Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) remains a fatal condition for which there are no highly effective treatment options, but newer and more sensitive research approaches are making huge gains in uncovering the mechanisms underlying this disease. Importantly, there is now wide-ranging evidence highlighting the critical role of the brain in ALS. In our recent study (“Early focality and spread of cortical dysfunction in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A regional study across the motor cortices”), we used the non-invasive brain stimulation technique of threshold-tracking transcranial magnetic stimulation (TT-TMS) to explore multiple cortical motor regions in ALS patients, and mapped the changes that occur regionally across the brain. We found that brain involvement is linked to the development of clinical symptoms and discovered that in the earlier stages of disease, these brain changes start focally. This may offer a discrete point from which the disease propagates and potentially a crucial target for future therapy.”
The novel insights from this study and its implications have been subsequently discussed in an editorial article. Dr Dharmadasa was also interviewed by the journal regarding the study and her personal story. This interview can be found on Twitter and on Facebook.