Changes in motor cortex activation after recovery from spinal cord inflammation.
Diseases of the spinal cord are associated with reactive changes in cerebral cortex organization. Many studies in this area have examined spinal cord conditions not associated with recovery, making it difficult to consider the value of these cortical events in the restoration of neurological function. We studied patients with myelitis, a syndrome of transient spinal cord inflammation, in order to probe cortical changes that might contribute to recovery after disease of the spinal cord. Seven patients, each of whom showed improvement in hand motor function after a diagnosis of myelitis involving cervical spinal cord, were clinically evaluated then studied with functional MRI. During right and left index finger tapping, activation volumes were assessed in three cortical motor regions within each hemisphere. Results were compared with findings in nine control subjects. Compared to the control group, myelitis patients had larger activation volumes within contralateral sensorimotor as well as contralateral premotor cortex. The degree of daily hand use showed a significant correlation with the volume of activation in contralateral sensorimotor cortex. Recovery from myelitis is associated with an enlarged activation volume in contralateral motor cortices. This change in motor cortex function is related to behavioral experience, and thus may contribute to motor improvement. The expanded activation in motor cortex, seen with several forms of spinal cord insult may have maximal utility when corticospinal tract axons are preserved.
Published In/Presented At
Cramer, S. C., Fray, E., Tievsky, A., Parker, R. A., Riskind, P. N., Stein, M. C., Wedeen, V., & Rosen, B. R. (2001). Changes in motor cortex activation after recovery from spinal cord inflammation. Multiple sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England), 7(6), 364–370. https://doi.org/10.1177/135245850100700604
Diagnosis | Medicine and Health Sciences | Other Analytical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques and Equipment | Radiology
Department of Radiology and Diagnostic Medical Imaging