Receive a weekly summary and discussion of the top papers of the week by leading researchers in the field.

In Frontiers in neurology

Purpose : The purpose of the present study was to explore the longitudinal changes in functional homotopy in the default mode network (DMN) and motor network and its relationships with clinical characteristics in patients with stroke.

Methods : Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed in stroke patients with subcortical ischemic lesions and healthy controls. The voxel-mirrored homotopic connectivity (VMHC) method was used to examine the differences in functional homotopy in patients with stroke between the two time points. Support vector machine (SVM) and correlation analyses were also applied to investigate whether the detected significant changes in VMHC were the specific feature in patients with stroke.

Results : The patients with stroke had significantly lower VMHC in the DMN and motor-related regions than the controls, including in the precuneus, parahippocampus, precentral gyrus, supplementary motor area, and middle frontal gyrus. Longitudinal analysis revealed that the impaired VMHC of the superior precuneus showed a significant increase at the second time point, which was no longer significantly different from the controls. Between the two time points, the changes in VMHC in the superior precuneus were significantly correlated with the changes in clinical scores. SVM analysis revealed that the VMHC of the superior precuneus could be used to correctly identify the patients with stroke from the controls with a statistically significant accuracy of 81.25% (P ≤ 0.003).

Conclusions : Our findings indicated that the increased VMHC in the superior precuneus could be regarded as the neuroimaging manifestation of functional recovery. The significant correlation and the discriminative power in classification results might provide novel evidence to understand the neural mechanisms responsible for brain reorganization after stroke.

Li Yongxin, Yu Zeyun, Zhou Xuan, Wu Ping, Chen Jiaxu


functional homotopy, machine learning, resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, subcortical stroke, superior precuneus