Corticospinal tract integrity and motor function following neonatal stroke: a case study


Background: New MRI techniques enable visualisation of corticospinal tracts and cortical motor activity. The objective of this case study was to describe the magnetic resonance evidence of corticospinal pathway reorganisation following neonatal stroke. Case presentation: An 11 year old boy with a neonatal right middle cerebral artery territory ischaemic stroke was studied. Functional MRI was undertaken with a whole hand squeezing task, comparing areas of cortical activation between hands. White matter tracts, seeded from the area of peak activation in the cortex, were visualised using a diffusion weighted imaging probabilistic tractography method. Standardised evaluations of unilateral and bilateral motor function were undertaken. Clinically, the child presented with a left hemiparesis. Functional MRI demonstrated that movement of the hemiparetic hand resulted in activation in the ipsi-lesional (right) hemisphere only. Diffusion tractography revealed pathways in the right (lesioned) hemisphere tracked perilesionally to the cortical area identified by functional MRI. Conclusion: Our case demonstrates that neonatal stroke is associated with maintenance of organization of corticospinal pathways sufficient to maintain some degree of hand function in the affected hemisphere. Functional MRI and diffusion weighted imaging tractography may inform our understanding of recovery, organisation and reorganisation and have the potential to monitor responses to intervention following neonatal stroke.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences
Additional Information: © 2012 Gordon et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: magnetic resonance imaging,stroke,pyramidal tracts,movement disorders,children ,functional imaging,motor outcome
Publication ISSN: 1471-2377
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2012-07-09
Accepted Date: 2012-07-09
Submitted Date: 2012-02-27
Authors: Gordon, Anne L.
Wood, Amanda (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-1537-6858)
Tournier, Jacques Donald
Hunt, Rod W.



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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