Christopher Paul Pawela1,2, Bharat B. Biswal3, Rupeng Li2, Anthony G. Hudetz4, Hani S. Matloub1, James S. Hyde2
1Department of Plastic Surgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, United States; 2Department of Biophysics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, United States; 3Department of Radiology, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, NJ, United States; 4Department of Anesthesiology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, United States
In this study brain reorganization following nerve injury and repair was followed for a twelve week period with BOLD fMRI in a rat model. Primary sensory functional return progressed over the entire study period whereas thalamic areas did not functionally return until the twelve week time point. This study demonstrates the utility of using BOLD fMRI as a substitute for conventional electrophysiology in studies of brain plasticity and has many applications outside of peripheral nerve injury and repair.