Neuroscience Bulletin

, Volume 34, Issue 6, pp 963–971 | Cite as

A Longitudinal Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study of Working Memory in Patients Following a Transient Ischemic Attack: A Preliminary Study

  • Wei Su
  • Jian Guo
  • Yun Zhang
  • Jie Zhou
  • Ning Chen
  • Muke Zhou
  • Rong Li
  • Huafu Chen
  • Li HeEmail author
Original Article


In this study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate longitudinal changes in brain activation during a verbal working memory (VWM) task performed by patients who had experienced a transient ischemic attack (TIA). Twenty-five first-ever TIA patients without visible lesions in conventional MRI and 25 healthy volunteers were enrolled. VWM task-related fMRI was conducted 1 week and 3 months post-TIA. The brain activity evoked by the task and changes over time were assessed. We found that, compared with controls, patients exhibited an increased activation in the bilateral inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), insula, inferior parietal lobe (IPL), and cerebellum during the task performed 1 week post-TIA. But only the right IFG still exhibited an increased activation at 3 months post-TIA. A direct comparison of fMRI data between 1 week and 3 months post-TIA showed greater activation in the bilateral middle temporal gyrus, right DLPFC, IPL, cerebellum, and left IFG in patients at 1 week post-TIA. We conclude that brain activity patterns induced by a VWM task remain dynamic for a period of time after a TIA, despite the cessation of clinical symptoms. Normalization of the VWM activation pattern may be progressively achieved after transient episodes of ischemia in TIA patients.


Functional magnetic resonance imaging Recovery Transient ischemic attack Verbal working memory 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81300943 and 81472162) and the Postdoctoral Science Special Foundation of China (2014T70867).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors claim that there are no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, CAS and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei Su
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jian Guo
    • 1
  • Yun Zhang
    • 3
  • Jie Zhou
    • 1
  • Ning Chen
    • 1
  • Muke Zhou
    • 1
  • Rong Li
    • 4
  • Huafu Chen
    • 4
  • Li He
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyWest China Hospital of Sichuan UniversityChengduChina
  2. 2.Department of Science and TechnologyWest China Hospital of Sichuan UniversityChengduChina
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyMianyang Central HospitalMianyangChina
  4. 4.Key Laboratory for Neuroinformation of The Ministry of Education, School of Life Science and TechnologyUniversity of Electronic Science and Technology of ChinaChengduChina

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