Cortical activation in hemianopia after stroke.
ABSTRACT Changes in neuronal activity of the visual cortex have been described in patients with hemianopia. The anatomical areas that are involved in neuroplastic changes have not been studied in a larger group of stroke patients with a homogenous structural pathology of the visual cortex. Brain activation was measured in 13 patients with a single ischemic lesion of the striate cortex and partially recovered hemianopia and in 13 age-matched control subjects using blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Differences in activation between rest and visual hemifield stimulation were assessed with statistical parametric mapping using group and multi-group studies. In normal subjects, the most significant activation was found in the contralateral primary visual cortex (area 17) and bilaterally in the extrastriate cortex (areas 18 and 19). In patients, these areas were also activated when the intact hemifield was stimulated. During stimulation of the hemianopic side, bilateral activation was seen within the extrastriate cortex, stronger in the ipsilateral (contralesional) hemisphere. Stimulation of the hemianopic visual field is associated with ipsilateral activation of the extrastriate visual cortex. This pattern of activation suggests extensive neuronal plasticity within the visual cortex after postgeniculate ischemic lesions and may have implications for therapeutic interventions.
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ABSTRACT: It has been argued that patients with visual field defects compensate for their deficit by making more frequent eye movements toward the hemianopic field and that visual field enlargements found after vision restoration therapy (VRT) may be an artefact of such eye movements. In order to determine if this was correct, we recorded eye movements in hemianopic subjects before and after VRT. Visual fields were measured in subjects with homonymous visual field defects (n=15) caused by trauma, cerebral ischemia or haemorrhage (lesion age >6 months). Visual field charts were plotted using both high-resolution perimetry (HRP) and conventional perimetry before and after a 3-month period of VRT, with eye movements being recorded with a 2D-eye tracker. This permitted quantification of eye positions and measurements of deviation from fixation. VRT lead to significant visual field enlargements as indicated by an increase of stimulus detection of 3.8% when tested using HRP and about 2.2% (OD) and 3.5% (OS) fewer misses with conventional perimetry. Eye movements were expressed as the standard deviations (S.D.) of the eye position recordings from fixation. Before VRT, the S.D. was +/-0.82 degrees horizontally and +/-1.16 degrees vertically; after VRT, it was +/-0.68 degrees and +/-1.39 degrees , respectively. A cluster analysis of the horizontal eye movements before VRT showed three types of subjects with (i) small (n=7), (ii) medium (n=7) or (iii) large fixation instability (n=1). Saccades were directed equally to the right or the left side; i.e., with no preference toward the blind hemifield. After VRT, many subjects showed a smaller variability of horizontal eye movements. Before VRT, 81.6% of the recorded eye positions were found within a range of 1 degrees horizontally from fixation, whereas after VRT, 88.3% were within that range. In the 2 degrees range, we found 94.8% before and 98.9% after VRT. Subjects moved their eyes 5 degrees or more 0.3% of the time before VRT versus 0.1% after VRT. Thus, in this study, subjects with homonymous visual field defects who were attempting to fixate a central target while their fields were being plotted, typically showed brief horizontal shifts with no preference toward or away from the blind hemifield. These eye movements were usually less than 1 degrees from fixation. Large saccades toward the blind field after VRT were very rare. VRT has no effect on either the direction or the amplitude of horizontal eye movements during visual field testing. These results argue against the theory that the visual field enlargements are artefacts induced by eye movements.Behavioural Brain Research 11/2006; 175(1):18-26. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the neural substrates mediating residual vision in the "blind" hemifield of hemispherectomized patients. The visual stimuli were semicircular gratings moving in opposite directions on a dynamic random-dot background. They were specifically constructed to eliminate intra- and extraocular light scatter and optimize the activation of extrastriate cortical areas and their subcortical relays. Multislice T2*-weighted gradient echo (GE) echoplanar imaging (EPI) images (TR/TE = 4 s/45 ms, flip angle 90 degrees ) were acquired during activation and baseline visual stimulation. An activation minus baseline subtraction was performed, and the acquired t statistic map transformed into the stereotaxic coordinate space of Talairach and Tournoux. In seven normal control subjects, right hemifield stimulation produced significant activation foci in contralateral V1/V2, V3/V3A, VP, and V5 (MT). Significant activation was also produced in homologous regions of the right occipital lobe with left hemifield stimulation. Stimulation of the intact hemifield in hemispherectomized patients resulted in activation of similar areas exclusively within the contralateral hemisphere. Stimulation of the anopic hemifield produced statistically significant activation in the ipsilateral occipital lobe (putative area V5 or MT) and areas V3/V3A in the only subject with blindsight. We conclude that the remaining hemisphere may contribute to residual visual functions in the blind hemifield of hemispherectomized patients, possibly through the collicular-pulvinar route since the activated areas are known to receive their afferents from these subcortical nuclei.NeuroImage 10/1999; 10(3 Pt 1):339-46. · 6.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Plasticity in extended, parallel, or reciprocal operating networks is well recognized. Changes in neuronal activity after lesions to distinct localized structures, such as the primary visual cortex, are less well characterized. We investigated the cortical reorganization in patients with poststroke visual field defects using blood oxygen level-dependent functional MRI. Brain activation was measured in 7 patients with a single occipital cortical lesion and partially recovered hemianopia and in 7 age-matched control subjects. Differences in activation between rest and visual hemifield stimulation were assessed with statistical parametric mapping (SPM'99). In normal subjects, significant activation was found in the contralateral primary visual cortex and bilaterally in the extrastriate cortex. During hemifield stimulation of the unaffected side of stroke patients, a similar pattern was found compared with that seen in control subjects. During stimulation of the hemianopic side, bilateral activation was seen within the extrastriate cortex, stronger in the ipsilateral hemisphere. The primary visual cortex was not significantly activated in either hemisphere during stimulation of the hemianopic side. Visual field defects after stroke are associated with bilateral activation of the extrastriate visual cortex. This pattern of activation indicates altered neuronal activity in the visual system. Further investigation is necessary to determine the relationship between functional reorganization and recovery of lost visual function after poststroke hemianopia.Stroke 06/2002; 33(5):1286-93. · 6.16 Impact Factor