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Abstract #2321

Investigating the Relationship between the Disruption of Primary Sensorimotor Pathways & Hand Function in Congenital Hemiplegia: An MRI Structural Connectivity Study

Stephen Rose1, Kerstin Pannek1, Andrea Guzzetta2, Roslyn Boyd3

1Centre for Clinical Research, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; 2Department of Developmental Neuroscience, Stella Maris Scientific Institute, Pisa, Italy; 3Queensland Cerebral Palsy & Rehabilitation Research Centre, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Unilateral periventricular brain lesions occurring early during the third trimester of pregnancy are a significant cause of congenital hemiplegia. However, little is known regarding the role of sensorimotor pathways that project directly into the primary motor cortex in controlling paretic hand function. In this study, we introduce an automated structural connectivity approach for correlating asymmetry indices derived for the corticospinal tracts and spinothalamic-corticothalamic pathways with clinical measures of paretic hand function. Our findings support the concept that preservation of afferent sensorimotor thalamic pathways has more influence on motor function control of the paretic hand than preservation of corticospinal tracts.