IDENTIFYING CHANGES IN BRAIN STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION BENEFICIAL FOR POST-STROKE MOTOR RECOVERY
Relevant for Research Area
Prof. Dr. Cornelius Weiller (Contact PI)
The STROKE+ project aims to identify potential anatomical and physiological targets for future individualized rehabilitative treatments with bio-feedback or brain stimulation approaches to improve recovery from post-stroke deficits. To that end, a large number of stroke patients (currently about 600 completed datasets) are assessed longitudinally in acute and chronic post-stroke phases. During both time points, patients undergo a comprehensive behavioral evaluation ranging from basic motor functions to cognitive domains (e.g., tool use, language); in parallel structural images (anatomical scans, diffusion tensor image) and functional MRI sequences including novel MR encephalography data are obtained. Data analysis is focused on detecting structural and functional MR-biomarkers, predictive of clinical outcomes. Among other approaches, “The Virtual Brain” (external application center: UC Irvine) will be used to establish a model for the estimation of individual patients’ prognosis.
We determined patterns of fMRI activity associated with favorable recovery after stroke in two cognitive domains [1, 2]. Preserved cognitive motor skills despite left hemisphere damage correlate with right frontal activity . Recovery from spatial neglect is predicted by an early recruitment of contralesional functional homologue regions, and by specific connectivity patterns between ipsi- and contralesional areas .
 Martin M, Nitschke K, Beume L, Dressing A, Bühler LE, Ludwig VM, Mader I, Rijntjes M, Kaller CP, Weiller C (2016) Brain activity underlying tool-related and imitative skills after major left hemisphere stroke. Brain, volume: 139, issue: 5, pp. 1497-516.
 Umarova RM, Nitschke K, Kaller CP, Klöppel S, Beume L, Mader I, Martin M, Hennig J, Weiller C (2016) Predictors and signatures of recovery from neglect in acute stroke. Ann Neurol, volume: 79, issue: 4, pp. 673-86.