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Abstract #2124

Changes in corticospinal tract integrity in relation to recovery after cortical stroke as measured with DTI-based tractography in rat brain

Geralda AF van Tilborg1, Michel RT Sinke1, Anu E Meerwaldt1, Annette van der Toorn1, Caroline H van Heijningen1, Milou Straathof1, Mohamed Ali2, Khalid Al-Saad3, and Rick M Dijkhuizen1

1Biomedical MR Imaging and Spectroscopy Group, Center for Image Sciences, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands, 2Neurological Disorders Research Centre, Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Doha, Qatar, 3Department of Chemistry and Earth Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar

Preserved or restored integrity of the corticospinal tract (CST) is critical for motor recovery after stroke. However, data on spatiotemporal alterations in CST integrity after stroke are largely lacking. Here we implemented diffusion tensor-based tractography to identify the CST in rat brain, which we applied to measure microstructural changes along the CST following experimental stroke to the sensorimotor cortex. Number of tractography streamlines, fractional anisotropy (FA) and axial diffusivity (AD) were reduced 1 week post-stroke, and recovered to control levels after 28 weeks. This temporal pattern, reflective of white matter remodeling, coincided with loss and recovery of sensorimotor function.

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