Abnormal intrinsic functional activity in patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy: A resting-state fMRI study

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Abstract

Purpose: We employed resting-state fMRI analyses to reveal central functional reorganization in the brains of patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) and to provide complementary evidence of cortex reorganization in these patients. Patients and methods: We obtained Fisher’s z transformation amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (zALFF) and Fisher’s z transformation regional homogeneity (zReHo) measurements from 33 patients with CSM and 33 healthy controls (HC) and used the brain regions with significant alterations in the zALFF or zReHo values as seed regions. Then, we calculated Pearson’s correlation coefficients between the resting-state time courses of each seed and the time series of the rest of the brain. Lastly, we computed correlations between the altered zALFF, zReHo, and functional connectivity with Japanese Orthopaedic Association scores, Neck Disability Index score, and the duration of symptoms in patients with CSM. Results: zALFF and zReHo values were increased in the left medial superior frontal gyrus (lSFGmed) and left supramarginal gyrus (lSMG) in patients with CSM compared with those in the HC group. Selecting lSFGmed as the seed, we observed increased functional connectivity between it and the left postcentral gyrus (lPoCG) and left rolandic operculum and decreased functional connectivity with the right medial superior frontal gyrus in patients with CSM. In addition, there was a significant increase in the functional connectivity between the lSMG (seed) and the left calcarine and lPoCG in patients with CSM. However, we did not find any significant correlation between the resting-state findings and the clinical performance of patients with CSM. Conclusion: These observed intrinsic functional changes in the patients with CSM may be related to functional reorganization and reflect the innate cortical plasticity in patients with CSM. Notably, the increased connectivity between the lPoCG and the two seed ROIs indicates the adaptive changes in patients with CSM. These findings provide complementary evidence of cortex reorganization in CSM.

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Kuang, C., & Zha, Y. (2019). Abnormal intrinsic functional activity in patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy: A resting-state fMRI study. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 15, 2371–2383. https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S209952

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