Spontaneous Behavioural Recovery Following Stroke Relates to the Integrity of Parietal and Temporal Regions

Transl Stroke Res. 2022 Dec 21. doi: 10.1007/s12975-022-01115-3. Online ahead of print.


Stroke is a devastating disease that results in neurological deficits and represents a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Following a stroke, there is a degree of spontaneous recovery of function, the neural basis of which is of great interest among clinicians in their efforts to reduce disability following stroke and enhance rehabilitation. Conventionally, work on spontaneous recovery has tended to focus on the neural reorganization of motor cortical regions, with comparably little attention being paid to changes in non-motor regions and how these relate to recovery. Here we show, using structural neuroimaging in a macaque stroke model (N = 31) and by exploiting individual differences in spontaneous behavioural recovery, that the preservation of regions in the parietal and temporal cortices predict animal recovery. To characterize recovery, we performed a clustering analysis using Non-Human Primate Stroke Scale (NHPSS) scores and identified a good versus poor recovery group. By comparing the preservation of brain volumes in the two groups, we found that brain areas in integrity of brain areas in parietal, temporal and somatosensory cortex were associated with better recovery. In addition, a decoding approach performed across all subjects revealed that the preservation of specific brain regions in the parietal, somatosensory and medial frontal cortex predicted recovery. Together, these findings highlight the importance of parietal and temporal regions in spontaneous behavioural recovery.

Keywords: Focal ischemia; Non-human primates; Stroke; Translational models.