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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Proliferation of Bilateral Nerve Fibers Following Thalamic Infarction Contributes to Neurological Function Recovery: A Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) Study

Yayuan Liu, Li Chen, Jinseng Zeng, Wenmei Li, Sudan Zeng, Bin Ye, Zhijian Liang

Department of Neurology, The First Affiliated Hospital, Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, Guanxi, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24: CLR1464-1472

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.909071

Available online: 2018-03-11

Published: 2018-03-11


BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to investigate the reorganization in ipsilesional and contralesional thalamic radiation fibers after unilateral focal thalamic stroke in sensory disturbance patients.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We recruited 12 patients with acute unilateral thalamic infarction and sensory disturbance and 12 healthy age- and sex-matched controls. All patients underwent diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and were assessed with National Institutes of Health stroke scale (NIHSS), Barthel index (BI), and paragraph 8 of NIHSS (NIHSS8) at 1 week (W1), 4 weeks (W4), 3 months (M3), and 6 months (M6) after thalamic infraction. The relationship between FA changes and the clinical scores changes were then examined.
RESULTS: NIHSS and NIHSS8 scores decreased while BI scores increased gradually from W1 to M6 in patients, but not in controls. FA values of the patients gradually increased in ipsilesional and contralesional thalamic radiation fibers from W1 to M6. In addition, the FA values in patients were significantly higher at M3 and M6 compared to W1. No significant changes were observed in the controls. Regarding the relationship between FA changes and the clinical scores changes, the FA increases were negatively correlated with NIHSS and NIHSS8 decrease while FA increases were positively correlated with BI increases.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that reorganization occurred after unilateral focal thalamic infarct not only in ipsilesional, but also in contralesional thalamic radiation fibers in patients with sensory disturbance. In addition, the results suggested that the reorganization can support and promote stroke restoration.

Keywords: cognitive reserve, Neurology, Thalamic Diseases