Taiza E. G. Santos
Jussara A. O. Baggio
Karina T. Weber
Luiz H. Stefano
Antonio C. Santos
Octavio M. Pontes-Neto
Joao P. Leite
Dylan J. Edwards, Edith Cowan UniversityFollow
Frontiers in Neurology
School of Medical and Health Sciences
CAPES – Brazil (TEGS: #33002029012P3; CR: #1602529)
NICHD of USA (DJE) under award number R01HD069776
Verticality misperception after stroke is a frequent neurological deficit that leads to postural imbalance and a higher risk of falls. The posterior thalamic nuclei are described to be involved with verticality perception, but it is unknown if extra-thalamic lesions can have the same effect via diaschisis and degeneration of thalamic nuclei. We investigated the relationship between thalamic fractional anisotropy (FA, a proxy of structural integrity), and verticality perception, in patients after stroke with diverse encephalic extra-thalamic lesions. We included 11 first time post-stroke patients with extra-thalamic primary lesions, and compared their region-based FA to a group of 25 age-matched healthy controls. For the patient sample, correlation and regression analyses evaluated the relationship between thalamic nuclei FA and error of postural vertical (PV) and haptic vertical (HV) in the roll (PVroll/HVroll) and pitch planes (PVpitch/HVpitch). Relative to controls, patients showed decreased FA of anterior, ventral anterior, ventral posterior lateral, dorsal, and pulvinar thalamic nuclei, despite the primary lesions being extra-thalamic. We found a significant correlation between HVroll, and FA in the anterior and dorsal nuclei, and PVroll with FA in the anterior nucleus. FA in the anterior, ventral anterior, ventral posterior lateral, dorsal and pulvinar nuclei predicted PV, and FA in the ventral anterior, ventral posterior lateral and dorsal nuclei predicted HV. While prior studies indicate that primary lesions of the thalamus can result in verticality misperception, here we present evidence supporting that secondary degeneration of thalamic nuclei via diaschisis can also be associated with verticality misperception after stroke.
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