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No evidence for motor recovery-related cortical reorganization after stroke using resting-state fMRI

By Meret Branscheidt, Naveed Ejaz, Jing Xu, Mario Widmer, Michelle D Harran, Juan Camillo Cortés, Tomoko Kitago, Pablo Celnik, Carlos Hernandez-Castillo, Jörn Diedrichsen, Andreas Luft, John W. Krakauer

Posted 26 Jun 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/681320

Cortical reorganization has been suggested as mechanism for recovery after stroke. It has been proposed that a form of cortical reorganization (changes in functional connectivity between brain areas) can be assessed with resting-state fMRI. Here we report the largest longitudinal data-set in terms of overall sessions in 19 patients with subcortical stroke and 11 controls. Patients were imaged up to 5 times over one year. We found no evidence for post-stroke cortical reorganization despite substantial behavioral recovery. These results could be construed as questioning the value of resting-state imaging. Here we argue instead that they are consistent with other emerging reasons to challenge the idea of motor recovery-related cortical reorganization post-stroke when conceived as changes in connectivity between cortical areas.

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