Shape of the Central Sulcus and Disability After Subcortical Stroke
A Motor Reserve Hypothesis
Background and Purpose—Both brain and cognitive reserves modulate the clinical impact of chronic brain diseases. Whether a motor reserve also modulates the relationships between stroke and disability is unknown. We aimed to determine whether the shape of the central sulcus, a marker of the development of underlying motor connections, is independently associated with disability in patients with a positive history of small subcortical ischemic stroke.
Methods—Shapes of central sulci were reconstructed from high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging and ordered without supervision according to a validated algorithm in 166 patients with a positive history of small subcortical ischemic stroke caused by CADASIL (Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy With Subcortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy), a severe monogenic cerebral small vessel disease affecting young patients. Ordinal logistic regression modeling was used to test the relationships between modified Rankin scale, a disability scale strongly weighted toward motor disability, and sulcal shape.
Results—Modified Rankin scale was strongly associated with sulcal shape, independent of age, sex, and level of education (proportional odds ratio =1.19, 95% confidence interval =1.06–1.35; P=0.002). Results remained significant after further adjustment for brain atrophy, volume of lacunes, and volume of white matter hyperintensities of presumed vascular origin.
Conclusions—The severity of disability in patients with a positive history of small subcortical ischemic stroke caused by a severe cerebral small vessel disease is related to the shape of the central sulcus, independently of the main determinants of disability. These results support the concept of a motor reserve that could modulate the clinical severity in patients with a positive history of small subcortical ischemic stroke.
- Received December 23, 2015.
- Revision received February 1, 2016.
- Accepted February 10, 2016.
- © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.