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Published Online: 11 September 2015

Quantitative Analysis of Myelin and Axonal Remodeling in the Uninjured Motor Network After Stroke

Publication: Brain Connectivity
Volume 5, Issue Number 7


Contralesional brain connectivity plasticity was previously reported after stroke. This study aims at disentangling the biological mechanisms underlying connectivity plasticity in the uninjured motor network after an ischemic lesion. In particular, we measured generalized fractional anisotropy (GFA) and magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) to assess whether poststroke connectivity remodeling depends on axonal and/or myelin changes. Diffusion-spectrum imaging and magnetization transfer MRI at 3T were performed in 10 patients in acute phase, at 1 and 6 months after stroke, which was affecting motor cortical and/or subcortical areas. Ten age- and gender-matched healthy volunteers were scanned 1 month apart for longitudinal comparison. Clinical assessment was also performed in patients prior to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In the contralesional hemisphere, average measures and tract-based quantitative analysis of GFA and MTR were performed to assess axonal integrity and myelination along motor connections as well as their variations in time. Mean and tract-based measures of MTR and GFA showed significant changes in a number of contralesional motor connections, confirming both axonal and myelin plasticity in our cohort of patients. Moreover, density-derived features (peak height, standard deviation, and skewness) of GFA and MTR along the tracts showed additional correlation with clinical scores than mean values. These findings reveal the interplay between contralateral myelin and axonal remodeling after stroke.

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Published In

cover image Brain Connectivity
Brain Connectivity
Volume 5Issue Number 7September 2015
Pages: 401 - 412
PubMed: 25296185


Published online: 11 September 2015
Published in print: September 2015
Published ahead of print: 23 December 2014
Published ahead of production: 8 October 2014


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Ying-Chia Lin
Department of Computer Science, University of Verona, Verona, Italy.
Alessandro Daducci
STI/IEL/LTS5, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Djalel Eddine Meskaldji
Institute of Bioengineering, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland.
Department of Radiology and Medical Informatics, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.
Jean-Philippe Thiran
STI/IEL/LTS5, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Patrik Michel
Stroke Center, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Reto Meuli
Department of Radiology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Gunnar Krueger
Healthcare Sector IM&WS S, Siemens Schweiz AG, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Advanced Clinical Imaging Technology Group, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Gloria Menegaz
Department of Computer Science, University of Verona, Verona, Italy.
Cristina Granziera
STI/IEL/LTS5, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Advanced Clinical Imaging Technology Group, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Laboratoire de Recherche en Neuroimagerie and Neuroimmunology Unit, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois and University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.


Address correspondence to:Cristina GranzieraLaboratoire de Recherche en Neuroimagerie andNeuroimmunology UnitDepartment of Clinical NeurosciencesCentre Hospitalier UniversitaireVaudois and University of LausanneLausanne, VDSwitzerland
E-mail: [email protected]

Author Disclosure Statement

Dr G. Krueger works for Siemens AG. Dr C. Granziera received travel fees and participates in advisory boards of Novartis, AG, Switzerland. Otherwise, no competing financial interests exist.

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