Document Detail

Age- and time-dependent effects on functional outcome and cortical activation pattern in patients with median nerve injury: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19911892     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECT: The authors conducted a study to determine age- and time-dependent effects on the functional outcome after median nerve injury and repair and how such effects are related to changes in the pattern of cortical activation in response to tactile stimulation of the injured hand. METHODS: The authors studied 11 patients with complete unilateral median nerve injury at the wrist repaired with epineural suture. In addition, 8 patients who were reported on in a previous study were included in the statistical analysis. In the entire study cohort, the mean age at injury was 23.3 +/- 13.4 years (range 7-57 years) and the time after injury ranged from 1 to 11 years. Sensory perception was measured with the static 2-point discrimination test and monofilaments. Functional MR imaging was conducted during tactile stimulation (brush strokes) of Digits II-III and IV-V of both hands, respectively. RESULTS: Tactile sensation was diminished in the median territory in all patients. The strongest predictor of 2-point discrimination was age at injury (p < 0.0048), and when this was accounted for in the regression analysis, the other age- and time-dependent predictors had no effect. The activation ratios (injured/healthy hand) for Digit II-III and Digit IV-V stimulation were positively correlated (rho 0.59, p < 0.011). The activation ratio for Digit II-III stimulation correlated weakly with time after injury (p < 0.041). The activation ratio of Digits IV-V correlated weakly with both age at injury (p < 0.048) and time after injury (p < 0.033), but no predictor reached significance in the regression model. The mean ratio of ipsi- and contralateral hemisphere activation after stimulation of the injured hand was 0.55, which was not significantly different from the corresponding ratio of the healthy hand (0.66). CONCLUSIONS: Following a median nerve injury (1-11 years after injury) there may be an initial increase in the volume of the cortical representation, which subsequently declines during the restoration phase. These dynamic changes may involve both median and ulnar nerve cortical representation, because both showed negative correlation with time after injury. These findings are in agreement with animal studies showing that cortical plasticity is an important mechanism for functional recovery after peripheral nerve injury and repair.
Lotta Fornander; Torbjörn Nyman; Thomas Hansson; Mattias Ragnehed; Tom Brismar
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of neurosurgery     Volume:  113     ISSN:  1933-0693     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Neurosurg.     Publication Date:  2010 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-07-02     Completed Date:  2010-07-26     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0253357     Medline TA:  J Neurosurg     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  122-8     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
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MeSH Terms
Age Factors
Brain Mapping
Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology*
Cohort Studies
Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
Fingers / innervation*
Follow-Up Studies
Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
Median Nerve / injuries*,  physiopathology,  surgery*
Median Neuropathy / physiopathology*,  surgery*
Middle Aged
Nerve Regeneration / physiology*
Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
Reference Values
Sensory Thresholds / physiology
Time Factors
Touch / physiology*
Wrist Injuries / physiopathology,  surgery*
Young Adult

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