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10.1177_15459683211041318.pdf (915.12 kB)

Remote Corticospinal Tract Degeneration After Cortical Stroke in Rats May Not Preclude Spontaneous Sensorimotor Recovery

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submitted on 2024-04-29, 06:08 and posted on 2024-04-29, 06:09 authored by Michel R. T. Sinke, Geralda A. F. van Tilborg, Anu E. Meerwaldt, Caroline L. van Heijningen, Annette van der Toorn, Milou Straathof, Fazle Rakib, Mohamed H. M. Ali, Khalid Al-Saad, Willem M. Otte, Rick M. Dijkhuizen

Background. Recovery of motor function after stroke appears to be related to the integrity of axonal connections in the corticospinal tract (CST) and corpus callosum, which may both be affected after cortical stroke. Objective. In the present study, we aimed to elucidate the relationship of changes in measures of the CST and transcallosal tract integrity, with the interhemispheric functional connectivity and sensorimotor performance after experimental cortical stroke. Methods. We conducted in vivo diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), resting-state functional MRI, and behavior testing in twenty-five male Sprague Dawley rats recovering from unilateral photothrombotic stroke in the sensorimotor cortex. Twenty-three healthy rats served as controls. Results. A reduction in the number of reconstructed fibers, a lower fractional anisotropy, and higher radial diffusivity in the ipsilesional but intact CST, reflected remote white matter degeneration. In contrast, transcallosal tract integrity remained preserved. Functional connectivity between the ipsi- and contralesional forelimb regions of the primary somatosensory cortex significantly reduced at week 8 post-stroke. Comparably, usage of the stroke-affected forelimb was normal at week 28, following significant initial impairment between day 1 and week 8 post-stroke. Conclusions. Our study shows that post-stroke motor recovery is possible despite degeneration in the CST and may be supported by intact neuronal communication between hemispheres.

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Published in: Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
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  • English



Publication Year

  • 2021

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This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Qatar University
  • College of Arts and Sciences - QU
  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • Qatar Biomedical Research Institute - HBKU
  • Neurological Disorders Research Center - QBRI

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