Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, Ahead of Print. BackgroundThe cerebellum plays a crucial role in functional movement by influencing sensorimotor coordination and learning. However, the effects of cortico-cerebellar connectivity on the recovery of upper extremity motor function after stroke have not been investigated. We hypothesized that the integrity of the cortico-cerebellar connections would be reduced in patients with a subacute middle cerebral artery (MCA) stroke, and that this reduction may help to predict chronic upper extremity motor function.MethodsWe retrospectively analyzed the diffusion-tensor imaging of 25 patients with a subacute MCA stroke (mean age: 62.2 ± 2.7 years; 14 females) and 25 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. We evaluated the microstructural integrity of the corticospinal tract (CST), dentatothalamocortical tract (DTCT), and corticopontocerebellar tract (CPCT). Furthermore, we created linear regression models to predict chronic upper extremity motor function based on the structural integrity of each tract.ResultsIn stroke patients, the affected DTCT and CST showed significantly impaired structural integrity compared to unaffected tracts and the tracts in controls. When all models were compared, the model that used the fractional anisotropy (FA) asymmetry indices of CST and DTCT as independent variables best predicted chronic upper extremity motor function (R2 = .506, P = .001). The extent of structural integrity of the CPCT did not significantly differ between hemispheres or groups and was not predictive of motor function.ConclusionsWe found evidence that microstructural integrity of the DTCT in the subacute phase of an MCA stroke helped to predict chronic upper extremity motor function, independent of CST status.

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This post is Copyright: Yeun Jie Yoo | June 3, 2023
SAGE Publications Inc STM: Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair: Table of Contents