Posts Tagged functional magnetic resonance imaging

[Abstract] Primed Physical Therapy Enhances Recovery of Upper Limb Function in Chronic Stroke Patients.

Abstract

Background. Recovery of upper limb function is important for regaining independence after stroke.

Objective. To test the effects of priming upper limb physical therapy with intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS), a form of noninvasive brain stimulation.

Methods. Eighteen adults with first-ever chronic monohemispheric subcortical stroke participated in this randomized, controlled, triple-blinded trial. Intervention consisted of priming with real or sham iTBS to the ipsilesional primary motor cortex immediately before 45 minutes of upper limb physical therapy, daily for 10 days. Changes in upper limb function (Action Research Arm Test [ARAT]), upper limb impairment (Fugl-Meyer Scale), and corticomotor excitability, were assessed before, during, and immediately, 1 month and 3 months after the intervention. Functional magnetic resonance images were acquired before and at one month after the intervention.

Results. Improvements in ARAT were observed after the intervention period when therapy was primed with real iTBS, but not sham, and were maintained at 1 month. These improvements were not apparent halfway through the intervention, indicating a dose effect. Improvements in ARAT at 1 month were related to balancing of corticomotor excitability and an increase in ipsilesional premotor cortex activation during paretic hand grip.

Conclusions. Two weeks of iTBS-primed therapy improves upper limb function at the chronic stage of stroke, for at least 1 month post intervention, whereas therapy alone may not be sufficient to alter function. This indicates a potential role for iTBS as an adjuvant to therapy delivered at the chronic stage.

Source: Primed Physical Therapy Enhances Recovery of Upper Limb Function in Chronic Stroke Patients

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[Abstract] Sensorimotor modulation by botulinum toxin A in post-stroke arm spasticity: Passive hand movement – Journal of the Neurological Sciences

Highlights

  • Patients with upper limb post-stroke spasticity were treated with botulinum toxin.
  • Central effects of spasticity treatment were studied using functional MRI.
  • Brain activation pattern was assessed during passive hand movements.
  • BoNT-induced spasticity relief is associated with changes in sensorimotor network.

Abstract

Introduction

In post-stroke spasticity, functional imaging may uncover modulation in the central sensorimotor networks associated with botulinum toxin type A (BoNT) therapy. Investigations were performed to localize brain activation changes in stroke patients treated with BoNT for upper limb spasticity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Methods

Seven ischemic stroke patients (4 females; mean age 58.86) with severe hand paralysis and notable spasticity were studied. Spasticity was scored according to the modified Ashworth scale (MAS). fMRI examination was performed 3 times: before (W0) and 4 (W4) and 11 weeks (W11) after BoNT. The whole-brain fMRI data were acquired during paced repetitive passive movements of the plegic hand (flexion/extension at the wrist) alternating with rest. Voxel-by-voxel statistical analysis using the General Linear Model (GLM) implemented in FSL (v6.00)/FEAT yielded group session-wise statistical maps and paired between-session contrasts, thresholded at the corrected cluster-wise significance level of p < 0.05.

Results

As expected, BoNT transiently lowered MAS scores at W4. Across all the sessions, fMRI activation of the ipsilesional sensorimotor cortex (M1, S1, and SMA) dominated. At W4, additional clusters transiently emerged bilaterally in the cerebellum, in the contralesional sensorimotor cortex, and in the contralesional occipital cortex. Paired contrasts demonstrated significant differences W4 > W0 (bilateral cerebellum and contralesional occipital cortex) and W4 > W11 (ipsilesional cerebellum and SMA). The remaining paired contrast (W0 > W11) showed activation decreases mainly in the ipsilesional sensorimotor cortex (M1, S1, and SMA).

Conclusions

The present study confirms the feasibility of using passive hand movements to map the cerebral sensorimotor networks in patients with post-stroke arm spasticity and demonstrates that BoNT-induced spasticity relief is associated with changes in task-induced central sensorimotor activation, likely mediated by an altered afferent drive from the spasticity-affected muscles.

Source: Sensorimotor modulation by botulinum toxin A in post-stroke arm spasticity: Passive hand movement – Journal of the Neurological Sciences

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[ARTICLE] Interpreting Intervention Induced Neuroplasticity with fMRI: The Case for Multimodal Imaging Strategies – Full Text PDF

Abstract

Direct measurement of recovery from brain injury is an important goal in neurorehabilitation, and requires reliable, objective, and interpretable measures of changes in brain function, referred to generally as “neuroplasticity.” One popular imaging modality for measuring neuroplasticity is task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (t-fMRI). In the field of neurorehabilitation, however, assessing neuroplasticity using t-fMRI presents a significant challenge. This commentary reviews t-fMRI changes commonly reported in patients with cerebral palsy or acquired brain injuries, with a focus on studies of motor rehabilitation, and discusses complexities surrounding their interpretations. Specifically, we discuss the difficulties in interpreting t-fMRI changes in terms of their underlying causes, that is, differentiating whether they reflect genuine reorganisation, neurological restoration, compensation, use of preexisting redundancies, changes in strategy, or maladaptive processes. Furthermore, we discuss the impact of heterogeneous disease states and essential t-fMRI processing steps on the interpretability of activation patterns. To better understand therapy-induced neuroplastic changes, we suggest that researchers utilising t-fMRI consider concurrently acquiring information from an additional modality, to quantify, for example, haemodynamic differences or microstructural changes. We outline a variety of such supplementary measures for investigating brain reorganisation and discuss situations in which they may prove beneficial to the interpretation of t-fMRI data.

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[ARTICLE] Modeling the effects of noninvasive transcranial brain stimulation at the biophysical, network, and cognitive Level

Abstract

Noninvasive transcranial brain stimulation (NTBS) is widely used to elucidate the contribution of different brain regions to various cognitive functions. Here we present three modeling approaches that are informed by functional or structural brain mapping or behavior profiling and discuss how these approaches advance the scientific potential of NTBS as an interventional tool in cognitive neuroscience.

(i) Leveraging the anatomical information provided by structural imaging, the electric field distribution in the brain can be modeled and simulated. Biophysical modeling approaches generate testable predictions regarding the impact of interindividual variations in cortical anatomy on the injected electric fields or the influence of the orientation of current flow on the physiological stimulation effects.

(ii) Functional brain mapping of the spatiotemporal neural dynamics during cognitive tasks can be used to construct causal network models. These models can identify spatiotemporal changes in effective connectivity during distinct cognitive states and allow for examining how effective connectivity is shaped by NTBS.

(iii) Modeling the NTBS effects based on neuroimaging can be complemented by behavior-based cognitive models that exploit variations in task performance.

For instance, NTBS-induced changes in response speed and accuracy can be explicitly modeled in a cognitive framework accounting for the speed–accuracy trade-off. This enables to dissociate between behavioral NTBS effects that emerge in the context of rapid automatic responses or in the context of slow deliberate responses. We argue that these complementary modeling approaches facilitate the use of NTBS as a means of dissecting the causal architecture of cognitive systems of the human brain.

via Modeling the effects of noninvasive transcranial brain stimulation at the biophysical, network, and cognitive Level.

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[Dissertation] BRAIN CONNECTIVITY CHANGES AFTER STROKE AND REHABILITATION – Full Text PDF

ABSTRACT

Several cortical and subcortical areas of brain interact coherently during various tasks such as motor-imagery (MI) and motor-execution (ME) and even during resting-state (RS). How these interactions are affected following stroke and how the functional organization is regained from rehabilitative treatments as people begin to recover have not been systematically studied. Role of primary motor area during MI task and how this differs during ME task are still questions of interest.

To answer such questions, we recorded functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signals from 30 participants: 17 young healthy controls and 13 aged stroke survivors following stroke and following rehabilitation – either mental practice (MP) or combined session of mental practice and physical therapy (MP + PT). All the participants performed RS task whereas stroke survivors performed MI and ME tasks as well. We investigated the activity of motor network consisting of the left primary motor area (LM1), the right primary motor area (RM1), the left pre-motor cortex (LPMC), the right pre-motor cortex (RPMC) and the midline supplementary motor area (SMA).

In this dissertation, first, we report that during RS the causal information flow (i) between the regions was reduced significantly following stroke (ii) did not increase significantly after MP alone and (iii) among the regions after MP+PT increased significantly towards the causal flow values for young able-bodied people. Second, we found that there was suppressive influence of SMA on M1 during MI task where as the influence was unrestricted during ME task. We reported that following intervention the connection between PMC and M1 was stronger during MI task whereas along with connection from PMC to M1, SMA to M1 also dominated during ME task. Behavioral results showed significant improvement in sensation and motor scores and significant correlation between differences in Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA) scores and differences in causal flow values as well differences in endogenous connectivity measures before and after intervention.

We conclude that the spectra of causal information flow can be used as a reliable biomarker for evaluating rehabilitation in stroke survivors. These studies deepen our understanding of motor network activity during the recovery of motor behaviors in stroke. Understanding the stroke specific effective connectivity may be clinically beneficial in identifying effective treatments to maximize functional recovery in stroke survivors.

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[Dissertation] BRAIN CONNECTIVITY CHANGES AFTER STROKE AND REHABILITATION – Full Text PDF

ABSTRACT

Several cortical and subcortical areas of brain interact coherently during various tasks such as motor-imagery (MI) and motor-execution (ME) and even during resting-state (RS). How these interactions are affected following stroke and how the functional organization is regained from rehabilitative treatments as people begin to recover have not been systematically studied. Role of primary motor area during MI task and how this differs during ME task are still questions of interest.

To answer such questions, we recorded functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signals from 30 participants: 17 young healthy controls and 13 aged stroke survivors following stroke and following rehabilitation – either mental practice (MP) or combined session of mental practice and physical therapy (MP + PT). All the participants performed RS task whereas stroke survivors performed MI and ME tasks as well. We investigated the activity of motor network consisting of the left primary motor area (LM1), the right primary motor area (RM1), the left pre-motor cortex (LPMC), the right pre-motor cortex (RPMC) and the midline supplementary motor area (SMA).

In this dissertation, first, we report that during RS the causal information flow (i) between the regions was reduced significantly following stroke (ii) did not increase significantly after MP alone and (iii) among the regions after MP+PT increased significantly towards the causal flow values for young able-bodied people. Second, we found that there was suppressive influence of SMA on M1 during MI task where as the influence was unrestricted during ME task. We reported that following intervention the connection between PMC and M1 was stronger during MI task whereas along with connection from PMC to M1, SMA to M1 also dominated during ME task.

Behavioral results showed significant improvement in sensation and motor scores and significant correlation between differences in Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA) scores and differences in causal flow values as well differences in endogenous connectivity measures before and after intervention.

We conclude that the spectra of causal information flow can be used as a reliable biomarker for evaluating rehabilitation in stroke survivors. These studies deepen our understanding of motor network activity during the recovery of motor behaviors in stroke. Understanding the stroke specific effective connectivity may be clinically beneficial in identifying effective treatments to maximize functional recovery in stroke survivors.

Full Text PDF

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[ARTICLE] A longitudinal study of brain activation during stroke recovery using BOLD-fMRI

Stroke recovery involves a battery of plastic changes in the brain. Blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) provides brain activation information with exquisite spatial resolution as a powerful tool for investigating changes in brain plasticity.

In this paper, we performed a longitudinal study examining plasticity of functional activation by BOLD-fMRI following stroke. Data were collected from 11 patients with corticospinal tract (CST) damage at three stages of recovery, i.e., acute stage (3mons) post stroke. The evolution of cortical activations for both affected and unaffected hand motion tasks were studied. Quantitative activation measurements including the effective size and sum of t values were calculated and the correlations with patient Fugl-Meyer index were analyzed across all stages. Stroke patients showed a shift from bilateral activation in acute and early stage to the ipsilesional activation in chronic stage when performing a movement task with the affected hand, which suggests a compensation effect from the contralesional hemisphere during the recovery process. The correlation analysis showed a significantly negative correlation with cingulate cortex activity at early stage from both quantitative activation measurements, implying the special role of cingulate cortex in stroke recovery. Further investigations are in need to improve the understanding of brain plasticity in stroke patients.

via IEEE Xplore Abstract – A longitudinal study of brain activation during stroke recovery using BOLD-fMRI.

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[ARTICLE] Brain effective connectivity during motor-imagery and execution following stroke and rehabilitation – Full Text HTML

Abstract

Brain areas within the motor system interact directly or indirectly during motor-imagery and motor-execution tasks. These interactions and their functionality can change following stroke and recovery. How brain network interactions reorganize and recover their functionality during recovery and treatment following stroke are not well understood.

Full-size image (52 K)To contribute to answering these questions, we recorded blood oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signals from 10 stroke survivors and evaluated dynamical causal modeling (DCM)-based effective connectivity among three motor areas: primary motor cortex (M1), pre-motor cortex (PMC) and supplementary motor area (SMA), during motor-imagery and motor-execution tasks. We compared the connectivity between affected and unaffected hemispheres before and after mental practice and combined mental practice and physical therapy as treatments. The treatment (intervention) period varied in length between 14 to 51 days but all patients received the same dose of 60 h of treatment. Using Bayesian model selection (BMS) approach in the DCM approach, we found that, after intervention, the same network dominated during motor-imagery and motor-execution tasks but modulatory parameters suggested a suppressive influence of SM A on M1 during the motor-imagery task whereas the influence of SM A on M1 was unrestricted during the motor-execution task.

We found that the intervention caused a reorganization of the network during both tasks for unaffected as well as for the affected hemisphere. Using Bayesian model averaging (BMA) approach, we found that the intervention improved the regional connectivity among the motor areas during both the tasks. The connectivity between PMC and M1 was stronger in motor-imagery tasks whereas the connectivity from PMC to M1, SM A to M1 dominated in motor-execution tasks. There was significant behavioral improvement (p = 0.001) in sensation and motor movements because of the intervention as reflected by behavioral Fugl-Meyer (FMA) measures, which were significantly correlated (p = 0.05) with a subset of connectivity.

These findings suggest that PMC and M1 play a crucial role during motor-imagery as well as during motor-execution task. In addition, M1 causes more exchange of causal information among motor areas during a motor-execution task than during a motor-imagery task due to its interaction with SM A. This study expands our understanding of motor network involved during two different tasks, which are commonly used during rehabilitation following stroke. A clear understanding of the effective connectivity networks leads to a better treatment in helping stroke survivors regain motor ability.

Abbreviations

  • DCM, dynamical causal modeling
  • BMS, Bayesian model selection
  • BMA, Bayesian model averaging; IU, imagine unaffected
  • IA, imagine affected
  • PU, pinch unaffected
  • PA, pinch affected
  • MI, motor imagery
  • ME, motor-execution.

 

Continue —> Brain effective connectivity during motor-imagery and execution following stroke and rehabilitation.

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[ARTICLE] Motor Recovery and Cortical Reorganization After Mirror Therapy in Chronic Stroke Patients

…This phase II trial showed some effectiveness for mirror therapy in chronic stroke patients and is the first to associate mirror therapy with cortical reorganization. Future research has to determine the optimum practice intensity and duration for improvements to persist and generalize to other functional domains…

via Motor Recovery and Cortical Reorganization After Mirror Therapy in Chronic Stroke Patients.

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