Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a motor neuron disease characterized by progressive degeneration of upper motor neurons (UMN) and lower motor neurons (LMN). While LMN dysfunction can be confirmed by electromyography (EMG) and muscle biopsy, UMN involvement is more difficult to detect, particularly in the early phase. Objective and sensitive measures of UMN dysfunction are needed for early diagnosis and monitoring of disease progression and therapeutic efficacy. Advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques, such as diffusion, perfusion, magnetization transfer imaging, functional MRI, and MR spectroscopy, provide insight into the pathophysiological processes of ALS and may have a role in the identification and monitoring of UMN pathology. This article provides an overview of these neuroimaging techniques and their potential roles in ALS
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