Alterations in Spontaneous Brain Oscillations during Stroke Recovery

>Amplitude or frequency alterations of spontaneous brain oscillations may reveal pathological phenomena in the brain or predict recovery from brain lesions, but the temporal evolution and the functional significance of these changes is not well known. We performed follow-up recordings of spontaneous brain oscillations with whole-head MEG in 16 patients with first-ever stroke in the middle cerebral artery territory, affecting upper limb motor function, 1–7 days (T0), 1 month (T1), and 3 months (T2) after stroke, with concomitant clinical examination. Clinical test results improved significantly from T0 to T1 or T2. During recovery (at T1 and T2), the strength of temporo–parietal ~10-Hz oscillations in the affected hemisphere (AH) was increased as compared with the unaffected hemisphere. Abnormal low-frequency magnetic activity (ALFMA) at ~1 Hz in the AH was detected in the perilesional cortex in seven patients at T0. In four of these, ALFMA persisted at T2. In patients with ALFMA, the lesion size was significantly larger than in the rest of the patients, and worse clinical outcome was observed in patients with persisting ALFMA. Our results indicate that temporo–parietal ~10-Hz oscillations are enhanced in the AH during recovery from stroke. Moreover, stroke causes ALFMA, which seems to persist in patients with worse clinical outcome.

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