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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with demyelinating neurophysiology and a motor band sign
  1. Matthew Megens1,
  2. Aaron de Souza1,2
  1. 1Department of Neurology, Launceston General Hospital, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
  2. 2University of Tasmania Launceston Clinical School, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Aaron de Souza, Neurology, Launceston General Hospital, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia;{at}


We describe an unusual case of clinical amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with initial neurophysiological studies suggesting demyelination, along with neuroimaging findings that helped to support the eventual diagnosis. An otherwise well 68-year-old man had 8 weeks of left upper limb weakness. On examination, there were widespread lower and upper motor neurone findings suggesting ALS. However, nerve conduction studies identified sensorimotor demyelinating changes suggesting chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP), a diagnosis further supported by cerebrospinal fluid analysis. MR scan of the brain revealed a ‘motor band’, a feature seen commonly in ALS. His condition was refractory to immunotherapy with clinical progression in-keeping with ALS, establishing the diagnosis. ALS is rarely associated with demyelinating neurophysiological changes resembling CIDP. The clinical phenotype is crucial to support the correct diagnosis and imaging findings may help.

  • ALS
  • MRI
  • neurophysiology

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Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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  • Contributors MM drafted and revised the paper. AdS generated the idea of this paper and contributed to the drafts and revision.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned. Externally peer reviewed by Martin Turner, Oxford, UK.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.

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