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Brain Res Cogn Brain Res. 2004 Dec;22(1):59-66.

Quantitative EEG analysis for assessment to 'plan' a task in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients: a study of executive functions (planning) in ALS patients.

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Centre for Biomedical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, Hauz Khas, New Delhi 110 016, India.


An attempt has been made to study the ability of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to 'plan' a task. Electroencephalogram (EEG) data corresponding to 'planning of a movement task' is analyzed in comparison with a normal relaxed state. The study was conducted on 12 patients with ALS (6 males, 3 females, mean age 46.75 years) and on same number of controls (10 males, 2 females, mean age 48.75 years) to evaluate a difference in the ability to 'plan' a movement task between them. Patients with ALS were divided in two groups defined by unclear/clear speech. It has been observed that patients with ALS having unclear speech (Group I) showed considerable reduction (p<0.0001) in 'planning' a movement task, whereas patients with ALS having clear speech (Group II) showed no deficit in 'planning' a movement task (p=0.0577), both in comparison with age-matched controls. Apart from supporting the earlier reports of a possible extended neuronal degeneration across wide area of the frontal lobes, the findings reveal a possible reduction in planning, an executive function of the prefrontal cortex of brain, and also reveal that speech impairment may be associated with cognitive deficits in patients with ALS.

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