Motor cortical reorganization is present after a single attack of multiple sclerosis devoid of cortico-spinal dysfunction
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While occurrence of motor cortical reorganization has been clearly demonstrated in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), it is not yet clear whether this cortical reorganization constitutes a response to cortico-spinal lesions or to more diffuse damage affecting the neuronal network involved in motor act preparation, or both. We proposed to investigate the changes in the activation pattern during a simple motor task devoid of cortico-spinal dysfunction occurring in patients with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) suggestive of MS.
Materials and methods
Among 15 right-handed CIS patients, we selected eight patients with a preserved central motor pathway established by motor evoked potentials. Ten healthy right-handed gender- and age-matched volunteers were also included. After morphological MRI, subjects performed calibrated conjugated finger flexion and extension movements during fMRI acquision.
In CIS patients, simple movements of the non-dominant hand induced recruitment of the anterior cingulate cortex (BA32) usually involved in complex motor movements. This reorganization was correlated with the diffuse brain tissue damage (brain T 2 lesion load).
These results suggest that at least part of the cortical reorganization observed during very simple tasks in the earliest stage of MS occurs whether or not the efferent pathways are intact.
KeywordsMultiple sclerosis Clinically isolated syndromes Functional magnetic resonance imaging Cortical reorganization Motor tasks Motor evoked potentials Transcranial magnetic stimulation
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