Open Access Open Badges Research article

The correlation between motor impairments and event-related desynchronization during motor imagery in ALS patients

Takashi Kasahara1*, Kentaro Terasaki2, Yuki Ogawa2, Junichi Ushiba2, Harumichi Aramaki3 and Yoshihisa Masakado1

Author affiliations

1 Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Tokai University School of Medicine, Shimokasuya 143, Isehara, Kanagawa 259-1193, Japan

2 Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University, 3-14-1 Hiyoshi, Kouhoku-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 223-8522, Japan

3 Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, National Hokone Hospital, 412 Kazamatsuri, Hokone, Kanagawa 250-0032, Japan

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Citation and License

BMC Neuroscience 2012, 13:66  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-13-66

Published: 15 June 2012



The event-related desynchronization (ERD) in EEG is known to appear during motor imagery, and is thought to reflect cortical processing for motor preparation. The aim of this study is to examine the modulation of ERD with motor impairment in ALS patients. ERD during hand motor imagery was obtained from 8 ALS patients with a variety of motor impairments. ERD was also obtained from age-matched 11 healthy control subjects with the same motor task. The magnitude and frequency of ERD were compared between groups for characterization of ALS specific changes.


The ERD of ALS patients were significantly smaller than those of control subjects. Bulbar function and ERD were negatively correlated in ALS patients. Motor function of the upper extremities did was uncorrelated with ERD.


ALS patients with worsened bulbar scales may show smaller ERD. Motor function of the upper extremities did was uncorrelated with ERD.

Brain-computer interface; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Bulbar dysfunction