University of Wisconsin–Madison

Brain Plasticity after Stroke

August 2012 to January 2014

The objective of this study is to investigate the plasticity changes occurring in the brain after the brain has suffered a stroke. Stroke occurs when blood supply to some part of the brain is compromised and occurs more frequently in older adults, although stroke can affect people of different ages. Functional images of the brain acquired while performing a task acutely (Timepoint 1 – T1), subacutely (T2), and chronically (T3) will be compared with the following controls: those with Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), vasculopath subjects (examples of such subjects include those with health conditions such as atrial fibrillation, cardiac disease, diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, peripheral vascular disease, carotid and other large vessel stenosis), and normal, healthy, adults in order to assess the plasticity changes occurring in the brain and its impact on functional recovery. Specifically, all subjects will be scanned while performing simple motor, language, and affective tasks in the scanner at each of the 3 timepoints. To assess the recovery outcomes in subjects after stroke we will also administer a battery of neuropsychological tests in addition to verbal fluency, handedness, and the Stroke Impact Scale (SIS). Indices of functional brain activation (e.g., fMRI percent signal change) for all subjects will be correlated with performance on the verbal fluency task and stroke outcome measures at the three time points.

This project led by: Vivek Prabhakaran MD, PhD