Motor Network Plasticity and Low-Frequency Oscillations Abnormalities in Patients with Brain Gliomas: A Functional MRI Study


Brain plasticity is often associated with the process of slow-growing tumor formation, which remodels neural organization and optimizes brain network function. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether motor function plasticity would display deficits in patients with slow-growing brain tumors located in or near motor areas, but who were without motor neurological deficits. We used resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging to probe motor networks in 15 patients with histopathologically confirmed brain gliomas and 15 age-matched healthy controls. All subjects performed a motor task to help identify individual motor activity in the bilateral primary motor cortex (PMC) and supplementary motor area (SMA). Frequency-based analysis at three different frequencies was then used to investigate possible alterations in the power spectral density (PSD) of low-frequency oscillations. For each group, the average PSD was determined for each brain region and a nonparametric test was performed to determine the difference in power between the two groups. Significantly reduced inter-hemispheric functional connectivity between the left and right PMC was observed in patients compared with controls (P<0.05). We also found significantly decreased PSD in patients compared to that in controls, in all three frequency bands (low: 0.01-0.02 Hz; middle: 0.02-0.06 Hz; and high: 0.06-0.1 Hz), at three key motor regions. These findings suggest that in asymptomatic patients with brain tumors located in eloquent regions, inter-hemispheric connection may be more vulnerable. A comparison of the two approaches indicated that power spectral analysis is more sensitive than functional connectivity analysis for identifying the neurological abnormalities underlying motor function plasticity induced by slow-growing tumors.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0096850

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@inproceedings{Niu2014MotorNP, title={Motor Network Plasticity and Low-Frequency Oscillations Abnormalities in Patients with Brain Gliomas: A Functional MRI Study}, author={Chen Niu and Ming Zhang and Zhigang Min and Netra Rana and Qiuli Zhang and Xin Liu and Min Li and Pan Lin}, booktitle={PloS one}, year={2014} }