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Alterations in Cortical Sensorimotor Connectivity following Complete Cervical Spinal Cord Injury: A Prospective Resting-State fMRI Study. PLoS One 2016;11(3):e0150351



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Scopus ID

2-s2.0-84962600492   24 Citations


Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have demonstrated alterations during task-induced brain activation in spinal cord injury (SCI) patients. The interruption to structural integrity of the spinal cord and the resultant disrupted flow of bidirectional communication between the brain and the spinal cord might contribute to the observed dynamic reorganization (neural plasticity). However, the effect of SCI on brain resting-state connectivity patterns remains unclear. We undertook a prospective resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI) study to explore changes to cortical activation patterns following SCI. With institutional review board approval, rs-fMRI data was obtained in eleven patients with complete cervical SCI (>2 years post injury) and nine age-matched controls. The data was processed using the Analysis of Functional Neuroimages software. Region of interest (ROI) based analysis was performed to study changes in the sensorimotor network using pre- and post-central gyri as seed regions. Two-sampled t-test was carried out to check for significant differences between the two groups. SCI patients showed decreased functional connectivity in motor and sensory cortical regions when compared to controls. The decrease was noted in ipsilateral, contralateral, and interhemispheric regions for left and right precentral ROIs. Additionally, the left postcentral ROI demonstrated increased connectivity with the thalamus bilaterally in SCI patients. Our results suggest that cortical activation patterns in the sensorimotor network undergo dynamic reorganization following SCI. The presence of these changes in chronic spinal cord injury patients is suggestive of the inherent neural plasticity within the central nervous system.

Author List

Oni-Orisan A, Kaushal M, Li W, Leschke J, Ward BD, Vedantam A, Kalinosky B, Budde MD, Schmit BD, Li SJ, Muqeet V, Kurpad SN


Matthew Budde PhD Associate Professor in the Neurosurgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Shekar N. Kurpad MD, PhD Chair, Professor in the Neurosurgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Shi-Jiang Li PhD Professor in the Biophysics department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Vaishnavi Muqeet MD Assistant Professor in the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Brian Schmit PhD Professor in the Biomedical Engineering department at Marquette University

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Feedback, Sensory
Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Middle Aged
Nerve Net
Neuronal Plasticity
Prospective Studies
Sensorimotor Cortex
Spinal Cord Injuries
jenkins-FCD Prod-482 91ad8a360b6da540234915ea01ff80e38bfdb40a