Characterizing Thalamocortical Disturbances in Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy: Revealed by Functional Connectivity under Two Slow Frequency Bands

Fuqing Zhou, Lin Wu, Xiaojia Liu, Honghan Gong, Keith Dip-Kei Luk, Yong Hu, Nader N. Pouratian
2015 PLoS ONE  
and Purpose Recent advanced MRI studies on cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) revealed alterations of sensorimotor cortex, but the disturbances of large-scale thalamocortical systems remains elusive. The purpose of this study was to characterizing the CSM-related thalamocortical disturbances, which were associated with spinal cord structural injury, and clinical measures. Methods A total of 17 patients with degenerative CSM and well-matched control subjects participated. Thalamocortical
more » ... rbances were quantified using thalamus seed-based functional connectivity in two distinct low frequencies bands (slow-5 and slow-4), with different neural manifestations. The clinical measures were evaluated by Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) score system and Neck Disability Index (NDI) questionnaires. Results Decreased functional connectivity was found in the thalamo-motor, -somatosensory, and -temporal circuits in the slow-5 band, indicating impairment of thalamo-cortical circuit degeneration or axon/synaptic impairment. By contrast, increased functional connectivity between thalami and the bilateral primary motor (M1), primary and secondary somatosensory (S1/S2), premotor cortex (PMC), and right temporal cortex was detected in the slow-4 band, and were associated with higher fractional anisotropy values in the cervical cord, corresponding to mild spinal cord structural injury. Conclusions These thalamocortical disturbances revealed by two slow frequency bands inform basic understanding and vital clues about the sensorimotor dysfunction in CSM. Further work is
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0125913 pmid:26053316 pmcid:PMC4460123 fatcat:k52ifcc5y5a55bp3yk5hp5rqu4