A Thalamic-Fronto-Parietal Structural Covariance Network Emerging in the Course of Recovery from Hand Paresis after Ischemic Stroke.

Abela, Eugenio; Missimer, John H; Federspiel, Andrea; Seiler, Andrea Barbara; Hess, Christian Walter; Sturzenegger, Matthias; Wiest, Roland; Weder, Bruno (2015). A Thalamic-Fronto-Parietal Structural Covariance Network Emerging in the Course of Recovery from Hand Paresis after Ischemic Stroke. Frontiers in neurology, 6(211), p. 211. Frontiers Media S.A. 10.3389/fneur.2015.00211

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To describe structural covariance networks of gray matter volume (GMV) change in 28 patients with first-ever stroke to the primary sensorimotor cortices, and to investigate their relationship to hand function recovery and local GMV change.


Tensor-based morphometry maps derived from high-resolution structural images were subject to principal component analyses to identify the networks. We calculated correlations between network expression and local GMV change, sensorimotor hand function and lesion volume. To verify which of the structural covariance networks of GMV change have a significant relationship to hand function, we performed an additional multivariate regression approach.


Expression of the second network, explaining 9.1% of variance, correlated with GMV increase in the medio-dorsal (md) thalamus and hand motor skill. Patients with positive expression coefficients were distinguished by significantly higher GMV increase of this structure during stroke recovery. Significant nodes of this network were located in md thalamus, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and higher order sensorimotor cortices. Parameter of hand function had a unique relationship to the network and depended on an interaction between network expression and lesion volume. Inversely, network expression is limited in patients with large lesion volumes.


Chronic phase of sensorimotor cortical stroke has been characterized by a large scale co-varying structural network in the ipsilesional hemisphere associated specifically with sensorimotor hand skill. Its expression is related to GMV increase of md thalamus, one constituent of the network, and correlated with the cortico-striato-thalamic loop involved in control of motor execution and higher order sensorimotor cortices. A close relation between expression of this network with degree of recovery might indicate reduced compensatory resources in the impaired subgroup.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Psychiatric Neurophysiology [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Abela, Eugenio, Federspiel, Andrea, Seiler, Andrea Barbara, Hess, Christian Walter, Sturzenegger, Matthias, Wiest, Roland Gerhard Rudi, Weder, Bruno


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Frontiers Media S.A.




Andrea Federspiel

Date Deposited:

08 Jan 2016 10:44

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:27

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

fronto-parietal network; stroke recovery; structural covariance network; tensor-based morphometry; thalamocortical loop





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