Whole-brain structural connectivity in dyskinetic cerebral palsy and its association with motor and cognitive function

Júlia Ballester-Plané, Ruben Schmidt, Olga Laporta-Hoyos, Carme Junqué, Élida Vázquez, Ignacio Delgado, Leire Zubiaurre-Elorza, Alfons Macaya, Pilar Póo, Esther Toro, Marcel A. de Reus, Martijn P. van den Heuvel, Roser Pueyo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Dyskinetic cerebral palsy (CP) has long been associated with basal ganglia and thalamus lesions. Recent evidence further points at white matter (WM) damage. This study aims to identify altered WM pathways in dyskinetic CP from a standardized, connectome-based approach, and to assess structure-function relationship in WM pathways for clinical outcomes. Individual connectome maps of 25 subjects with dyskinetic CP and 24 healthy controls were obtained combining a structural parcellation scheme with whole-brain deterministic tractography. Graph theoretical metrics and the network-based statistic were applied to compare groups and to correlate WM state with motor and cognitive performance. Results showed a widespread reduction of WM volume in CP subjects compared to controls and a more localized decrease in degree (number of links per node) and fractional anisotropy (FA), comprising parieto-occipital regions and the hippocampus. However, supramarginal gyrus showed a significantly higher degree. At the network level, CP subjects showed a bilateral pathway with reduced FA, comprising sensorimotor, intraparietal and fronto-parietal connections. Gross and fine motor functions correlated with FA in a pathway comprising the sensorimotor system, but gross motor also correlated with prefrontal, temporal and occipital connections. Intelligence correlated with FA in a network with fronto-striatal and parieto-frontal connections, and visuoperception was related to right occipital connections. These findings demonstrate a disruption in structural brain connectivity in dyskinetic CP, revealing general involvement of posterior brain regions with relative preservation of prefrontal areas. We identified pathways in which WM integrity is related to clinical features, including but not limited to the sensorimotor system. Hum Brain Mapp 38:4594–4612, 2017.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4594-4612
Number of pages19
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017

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