Intrinsic Functional Plasticity of the Sensory-Motor Network in Patients with Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy

F. Q. Zhou, Y. M. Tan, L. Wu, Y. Zhuang, L. C. He, H. H. Gong
2015 Scientific Reports  
Several neuroimaging studies have suggested brain reorganisation in patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM); however, the changes in spontaneous neuronal activity that are associated with connectedness remain largely unknown. In this study, functional connectivity strength (FCS), a data-driven degree centrality method based on a theoretical approach, was applied for the first time to investigate changes in the sensory-motor network (SMN) at the voxel level. Comparatively, CSM not
more » ... y showed significantly decreased FCS in the operculum-integrated regions, which exhibited reduced resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) around the Rolandic sulcus, but it also showed increased FCS in the premotor, primary somatosensory, and parietal-integrated areas, which primarily showed an enhanced rsFC pattern. Correlation analysis showed that altered FCS (in the left premotor-ventral/ precentral-operculum, right operculum-parietale 4, and right S1) was associated with worsening Japanese Orthopaedic Association scores and that the rsFC pattern was influenced by cervical cord micro-structural damage at the C2 level. Together, these findings suggest that during myelopathy, the intrinsic functional plasticity of the SMN responds to the insufficient sensory and motor experience in CSM patients. This knowledge may improve our understanding of the comprehensive functional defects found in CSM patients and may inspire the development of new therapeutic strategies in the future. OPEN SUBJECT AREAS: ORTHOPAEDICS SPINAL CORD DISEASES
doi:10.1038/srep09975 pmid:25897648 pmcid:PMC4404678 fatcat:7rml6xptyzbflhj6a56sidyx5y