Assessing the Integrity of Corticospinal Pathways From Primary and Secondary Cortical Motor Areas After Stroke

Stroke.ahajournals.org: July 3, 2012.


Background and Purpose—
Aside from the primary motor cortex, the corticospinal tract (CST) also receives fibers from dorsal and ventral premotor cortices and supplementary motor area, all of which might potentially contribute to motor function after stroke. We sought to quantify the microstructural integrity of CST originating from the hand representations in these 4 motor cortices separately and examined how these values related to hand motor impairment.

Methods—Probabilistic tractography from functional MRI-defined cortical sites demonstrated continuous CST originating from hand representations within each motor area in a group of healthy subjects. Microstructural integrity for each tract was calculated using fractional anisotropy at the level of the posterior limb of the internal capsule in a group of patients with chronic stroke. Read more