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Aberrances of Cortex Excitability and Connectivity Underlying Motor Deficit in Acute Stroke.

Research paper by Juan J Du, Jianping J Hu, Jingze J Hu, Qiang Q Xu, Qirui Q Zhang, Ling L Liu, Minmin M Ma, Gelin G Xu, Yong Y Zhang, Xinfeng X Liu, Guangming G Lu, Zhiqiang Z Zhang, Fang F Yang

Indexed on: 14 Nov '18Published on: 14 Nov '18Published in: Journal of neural transplantation & plasticity



Abstract

This study was aimed at evaluating the motor cortical excitability and connectivity underlying the neural mechanism of motor deficit in acute stroke by the combination of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electrophysiological measures. Twenty-five patients with motor deficit after acute ischemic stroke were involved. General linear model and dynamic causal model analyses were applied to fMRI data for detecting motor-related activation and effective connectivity of the motor cortices. Motor cortical excitability was determined as a resting motor threshold (RMT) of motor evoked potential detected by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). fMRI results were correlated with cortical excitability and upper extremity Fugl-Meyer assessment scores, respectively. Greater fMRI activation likelihood and motor cortical excitability in the ipsilesional primary motor area (M1) region were associated with better motor performance. During hand movements, the inhibitory connectivity from the contralesional to the ipsilesional M1 was correlated with the degree of motor impairment. Furthermore, ipsilesional motor cortex excitability was correlated with an enhancement of promoting connectivity in ipsilesional M1 or a reduction of interhemispheric inhibition in contralesional M1. The study suggested that a dysfunction of the ipsilesional M1 and abnormal interhemispheric interactions might underlie the motor disability in acute ischemic stroke. Modifying the excitability of the motor cortex and correcting the abnormal motor network connectivity associated with the motor deficit might be the therapeutic target in early neurorehabilitation for stroke patients.

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