Increased Low-Frequency Oscillation Amplitude of Sensorimotor Cortex Associated with the Severity of Structural Impairment in Cervical Myelopathy
Decreases in metabolites and increased motor-related, but decreased sensory-related activation of the sensorimotor cortex (SMC) have been observed in patients with cervical myelopathy (CM) using advanced MRI techniques. However, the nature of intrinsic neuronal activity in the SMC, and the relationship between cerebral function and structural damage of the spinal cord in patients with CM are not fully understood. The purpose of this study was to assess intrinsic neuronal activity by calculating
... the regional amplitude of low frequency fluctuations (ALFF) using resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI), and correlations with clinical and imaging indices. Nineteen patients and 19 age-and sex-matched healthy subjects underwent rs-fMRI scans. ALFF measurements were performed in the SMC, a key brain network likely to impaired or reorganized patients with CM. Compared with healthy subjects, increased amplitude of cortical low-frequency oscillations (LFO) was observed in the right precentral gyrus, right postcentral gyrus, and left supplementary motor area. Furthermore, increased z-ALFF values in the right precentral gyrus and right postcentral gyrus correlated with decreased fractional anisotropy values at the C2 level, which indicated increased intrinsic neuronal activity in the SMC corresponding to the structural impairment in the spinal cord of patients with CM. These findings suggest a complex and diverging relationship of cortical functional reorganization and distal spinal anatomical compression in patients with CM and, thus, add important information in understanding how spinal cord integrity may be a factor in the intrinsic covariance of spontaneous lowfrequency fluctuations of BOLD signals involved in cortical plasticity.