Brain Sciences Date of Publication: 16 February 2023

Stroke-Related Alterations in the Brain's Functional Connectivity Response Associated with Upper Limb Multi-Joint Linkage Movement

Qitong Chu, Xin Guo, Tengyu Zhang, Congcong Huo, Xuemin Zhang, Gongcheng Xu, Zhaoxin Lun, Shengcui Cheng, Ping Xie*


Stroke is one of the primary causes of motor disorders, which can seriously affect the patient's quality of life. However, the assessment of the upper limb affected by stroke is commonly based on scales, and the characteristics of brain reorganization induced by limb movement are not clear. Thus, this study aimed to investigate stroke-related cortical reorganization based on functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) during upper limb multi-joint linkage movement with reference to the Fugl-Meyer Assessment of the upper extremities (FMA-UE). In total, 15 stroke patients and 15 healthy subjects participated in this study. The functional connectivity (FC) between channels and the regions of interest (ROI) was calculated by Pearson's correlation coefficient. The results showed that compared with the control group, the FC between the prefrontal cortex and the motor cortex was significantly increased in the resting state and the affected upper limb's multi-joint linkage movements, while the FC between the motor cortex was significantly decreased during the unaffected upper limb's multi-joint linkage movements. Moreover, the significantly increased ROI FC in the resting state showed a significantly positive correlation with FMA-UE in stroke patients (p < 0.05). This study highlights a new biomarker for evaluating the function of movement in stroke patients and provides guidance for rehabilitation training.


脑卒中是导致运动障碍的主要原因之一,会严重影响患者的生活质量。然而,对脑卒中上肢影响的评估通常基于量表,而肢体运动所诱发的大脑重组特征并不明确。因此,本研究旨在参考 Fugl-Meyer 上肢评估(FMA-UE),基于功能性近红外光谱(fNIRS)研究上肢多关节联动运动时与脑卒中相关的大脑皮层重组。共有 15 名中风患者和 15 名健康受试者参与了这项研究。通过皮尔逊相关系数计算通道与感兴趣区(ROI)之间的功能连接性(FC)。结果显示,与对照组相比,前额叶皮层与运动皮层之间的功能连通性在静息状态和患侧上肢多关节联动运动时显著增加,而运动皮层之间的功能连通性在未患侧上肢多关节联动运动时显著降低。此外,静息状态下 ROI FC 的明显增加与脑卒中患者的 FMA-UE 呈明显正相关(p < 0.05)。这项研究为评估中风患者的运动功能提供了一种新的生物标志物,并为康复训练提供了指导。