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  Finger somatotopy is preserved after tetraplegia but deteriorates over time

Kikkert, S., Pfyffer, D., Verling, M., Freund, P., & Wenderoth, N. (2021). Finger somatotopy is preserved after tetraplegia but deteriorates over time. eLife, 10: e67713. doi:10.7554/eLife.67713.

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 Creators:
Kikkert, Sanne1, 2, Author
Pfyffer, Dario2, Author
Verling, Michaela1, Author
Freund, Patrick2, 3, 4, 5, Author              
Wenderoth, Nicole1, Author
Affiliations:
1Neural Control of Movement Laboratory, Department of Health Sciences and Technology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland, ou_persistent22              
2Balgrist Spinal Cord Injury Center, Balgrist University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland, ou_persistent22              
3Department of Brain Repair & Rehabilitation, University College London, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              
4Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, Institute of Neurology, University College London, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              
5Department Neurophysics (Weiskopf), MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_2205649              

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Free keywords: Functional MRI; Hand; Human; Neuroscience; Plasticity; Somatotopy; Spinal cord injury; Tetraplegia
 Abstract: Previous studies showed reorganised and/or altered activity in the primary sensorimotor cortex after a spinal cord injury (SCI), suggested to reflect abnormal processing. However, little is known about whether somatotopically specific representations can be activated despite reduced or absent afferent hand inputs. In this observational study, we used functional MRI and a (attempted) finger movement task in tetraplegic patients to characterise the somatotopic hand layout in primary somatosensory cortex. We further used structural MRI to assess spared spinal tissue bridges. We found that somatotopic hand representations can be activated through attempted finger movements in the absence of sensory and motor hand functioning, and no spared spinal tissue bridges. Such preserved hand somatotopy could be exploited by rehabilitation approaches that aim to establish new hand-brain functional connections after SCI (e.g. neuroprosthetics). However, over years since SCI the hand representation somatotopy deteriorated, suggesting that somatotopic hand representations are more easily targeted within the first years after SCI.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2021-02-192021-10-182021-11-08
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
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 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.7554/eLife.67713
PMID: 34665133
PMC: PMC8575460
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Project name : -
Grant ID : 320030_175616
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Funding organization : Swiss National Science Foundation
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Grant ID : PCEFP3_181362 / 1
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Swiss National Science Foundation

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Title: eLife
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Cambridge : eLife Sciences Publications
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 10 Sequence Number: e67713 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 2050-084X
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/2050-084X