Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, Volume 37, Issue 7, Page 423-433, July 2023. Background.Altered dynamic functional connectivity has been associated with motor impairments in the acute phase post-stroke. Its association with somatosensory impairments in the early sub-acute phase remains unexplored.Objective.To investigate altered dynamic functional connectivity associated with somatosensory impairments in the early sub-acute phase post-stroke.Methods.We collected resting state magnetic resonance imaging and clinical somatosensory function of the upper limb of 20 subacute stroke patients and 16 healthy controls (HC). A sliding-window approach was used to identify 3 connectivity states based on the estimated dynamic functional connectivity of sensorimotor related networks. Network components were subdivided into 3 domains: cortical and subcortical sensorimotor, as well as cognitive control network. Between-group differences were investigated using independent t-tests and Mann–Whitney-U tests. Analyzes were performed with correction for age, head motion and time post-stroke and corrected for multiple comparisons.Results.Stroke patients spent significantly less time in a weakly connected network state (state 3; dwell time: pstate3 = 0.003, meanstroke = 53.02, SDstroke = 53.13; meanHC = 118.92, SDHC = 72.84), and stayed shorter but more time intervals in a highly connected intra-domain network state (state 1; fraction time: pstate 1 < 0.001, meanstroke = 0.46, SDstroke = 0.26; meanHC = 0.26, SDHC = 0.21) compared to HC. After 8 weeks of therapy, improvements in wrist proprioception were moderately associated with decreases in dwell and fraction times toward a more normalized pattern.Conclusion.Changes in temporal properties of large-scale network interactions are present in the early rehabilitation phase post-stroke and could indicate enhanced neural plasticity. These findings could augment the understanding of cerebral reorganization after loss of neural tissue specialized in somatosensory functions.

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This post is Copyright: Nele De Bruyn | June 23, 2023
SAGE Publications Inc STM: Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair: Table of Contents