Willem M. Otte1,2, Rick M. Dijkhuizen2, Peter C. van Rijen1, Peter H. Gosselaar1, Maurits P.A. van Meer1,2, Onno van Nieuwenhuizen1, Kees P.J. Braun1
1Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands; 2Image Sciences Institute, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
Hemispherectomy is a last resort treatment for catastrophic hemispheric epilepsy. The remarkable motor recovery after hemispherectomy reflects the plastic capacities of the brain. We studied the remaining brain in hemispherectomized rats, 7 and 49 days post surgery using resting-state fMRI, graph analysis and interregional connectivity. The sensorimotor cortex and striatum in the healthy contralesional hemisphere exhibited significantly increased functional connectivity after surgery. The graph analysis results assume a shift toward a more regular network organization. We have shown that rs-fMRI, connectivity analyses and specific network measures can provide unique insights into functional reorganization in the remaining brain after experimental hemispherectomy.