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Shape of the central sulcus and disability after subcortical stroke: A motor reserve hypothesis

Stroke. 2016 Mar 3. pii: STROKEAHA.115.012562. [Epub ahead of print]

Authors/Editors: Jouvent E, Sun ZY, De Guio F, Duchesnay E, Duering M, Ropele S, Dichgans M, Mangin JF, Chabriat H.
Publication Date: 2016

 2016_03_jouvent

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:
Both brain and cognitive reserves modulate the clinical impact of chronic brain diseases. Whether a motor reserve also modulates the relationships between stroke and disability is unknown. We aimed to determine whether the shape of the central sulcus, a marker of the development of underlying motor connections, is independently associated with disability in patients with a positive history of small subcortical ischemic stroke.

METHODS:
Shapes of central sulci were reconstructed from high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging and ordered without supervision according to a validated algorithm in 166 patients with a positive history of small subcortical ischemic stroke caused by CADASIL (Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy With Subcortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy), a severe monogenic cerebral small vessel disease affecting young patients. Ordinal logistic regression modeling was used to test the relationships between modified Rankin scale, a disability scale strongly weighted toward motor disability, and sulcal shape.

RESULTS:
Modified Rankin scale was strongly associated with sulcal shape, independent of age, sex, and level of education (proportional odds ratio =1.19, 95% confidence interval =1.06-1.35; P=0.002). Results remained significant after further adjustment for brain atrophy, volume of lacunes, and volume of white matter hyperintensities of presumed vascular origin.

CONCLUSIONS:
The severity of disability in patients with a positive history of small subcortical ischemic stroke caused by a severe cerebral small vessel disease is related to the shape of the central sulcus, independently of the main determinants of disability. These results support the concept of a motor reserve that could modulate the clinical severity in patients with a positive history of small subcortical ischemic stroke.

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