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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychiatry | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00747

An individualized approach to neuroplasticity after early unilateral brain damage

 Katerina Gaberova1*,  Iliyana Pacheva2, Elena Timova2, Anelia Petkova2, Kichka Velkova1 and  Ivan S. Ivanov2
  • 1Plovdiv Medical University, Bulgaria
  • 2Department of Pediatrics and Medical Genetics, Medical University Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Introduction: Reorganization after early lesions in the developing brain has been an object of extensive scientific work, but even growing data from translational neuroscience studies in the last 20 years does not provide unified factors for prediction of type of reorganization and rehabilitation potential of patients with unilateral cerebral palsy due to pre/perinatal insult.
Aim: To analyze the type of motor, language and sensory brain reorganization in patients with right-sided cerebral palsy due to pre-/perinatal isolated left-sided brain lesions taking into consideration the type (cortico-subcortical or periventricular) and extent (grey and white matter damage) of the lesion, etiology, comorbidity and other postnatal factors, that could have played a role in the complex process of brain plasticity.
Material and methods: Eight patients with unilateral right cerebral palsy were included in the study. The individual data from fMRI of primary sensory, motor and language representation were analyzed and compared with respective comprehensive etiological, clinical and morphological data. Patients were examined clinically and psychologically, and investigated by structural and functional 3T GE scanner. A correlation between the type and extent of the lesion (involvement of cortical and subcortical structures), timing of lesion, type of reorganization (laterality index), and clinical and psychological outcome was done.
Results: Significant inter-individual diversity was found in the patient group predominantly in the patterns of motor reorganization. Patients with small periventricular lesions have ipsilesional representation of primary motor, sensory and word generation function. Patients with lesions involving left cortico-subcortical regions show various models of reorganization in all three modalities (ipsilesional, contralesional and bilateral) and different clinical outcome that seem to be impossible for prediction. However, patients with UCP who demonstrate ipsilesional motor cortical activation have better motor functional capacity.
Conclusion: The type and size of the pre-/perinatal lesion in left hemisphere could affect the natural potential of the young brain for reorganization and therefore the clinical outcome. Much larger sample and additional correlation with morphological data (volumetry, morphometry, tractography) is needed for determination of possible risk or protective factors that could play a role in the complex process of brain plasticity.

Keywords: Pre- / perinatal brain lesion, fMRI, motor reorganization, ; sensory reorganization, Language reorganization, functional capacity, Predictive factors

Received: 01 Jul 2019; Accepted: 17 Sep 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Gaberova, Pacheva, Timova, Petkova, Velkova and Ivanov. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mx. Katerina Gaberova, Plovdiv Medical University, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, katerina_gaberova@yahoo.com