BCI Training Effects on Chronic Stroke Correlate with Functional Reorganization in Motor-Related Regions: A Concurrent EEG and fMRI Study.

Research paper by Kai K Yuan, Cheng C Chen, Xin X Wang, Winnie Chiu-Wing WC Chu, Raymond Kai-Yu RK Tong

Indexed on: 10 Jan '21Published on: 10 Jan '21Published in: Brain sciences


Brain-computer interface (BCI)-guided robot-assisted training strategy has been increasingly applied to stroke rehabilitation, while few studies have investigated the neuroplasticity change and functional reorganization after intervention from multimodality neuroimaging perspective. The present study aims to investigate the hemodynamic and electrophysical changes induced by BCI training using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) respectively, as well as the relationship between the neurological changes and motor function improvement. Fourteen chronic stroke subjects received 20 sessions of BCI-guided robot hand training. Simultaneous EEG and fMRI data were acquired before and immediately after the intervention. Seed-based functional connectivity for resting-state fMRI data and effective connectivity analysis for EEG were processed to reveal the neuroplasticity changes and interaction between different brain regions. Moreover, the relationship among motor function improvement, hemodynamic changes, and electrophysical changes derived from the two neuroimaging modalities was also investigated. This work suggested that (a) significant motor function improvement could be obtained after BCI training therapy, (b) training effect significantly correlated with functional connectivity change between ipsilesional M1 (iM1) and contralesional Brodmann area 6 (including (cPMA) and (SMA)) derived from fMRI, (c) training effect significantly correlated with information flow change from cPMA to iM1 and strongly correlated with information flow change from SMA to iM1 derived from EEG, and (d) consistency of fMRI and EEG results illustrated by the correlation between functional connectivity change and information flow change. Our study showed changes in the brain after the BCI training therapy from chronic stroke survivors and provided a better understanding of neural mechanisms, especially the interaction among motor-related brain regions during stroke recovery. Besides, our finding demonstrated the feasibility and consistency of combining multiple neuroimaging modalities to investigate the neuroplasticity change.

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