The Functional Role of the Corticospinal Track in Relation to Motor Functions in Chronic Stroke Patients

만성 뇌졸중 환자에서 피질 척수로와 운동 능력의 상관관계 연구

  • Yeo, Sang-Seok (Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health Science, Dankook University)
  • 여상석 (단국대학교 보건과학대학 물리치료학과)
  • Received : 2014.07.10
  • Accepted : 2014.08.10
  • Published : 2014.09.30


Purpose: The corticospinal tract (CST) is known to be an important pyramidal tract for walking and motor function. However, very little is known about the functional role of the CST in the recovery of motor function. In the current study, we investigated the relation between the CST and motor function in chronic hemiparetic stroke patients. Methods: Fifty-four patients and 20 normal subjects were recruited. The Functional Ambulation Category (FAC) was used in measurement of the walking ability. We classified patients into three groups according to the ability to walk independently: group A, patients who could not walk independently (FAC: 0-2); group B, patients who could walk independently (FAC: 3); and group C, patd walk functionally (stairs and uneven surfaces, FAC 4-5). The Motricity Index (MI) was used to measure the motor function of the affected upper and lower extremities (maximum score: 100). The fractional anisotropy (FA) value, apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) value, and fiber volume of the CST were used for the diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) parameters. Results: In terms of the CST of the unaffected hemisphere, the FA value of group A was significantly lower than that of normal controls (p <0.05). The fiber volume of group C was significantly higher than that of normal controls (p <0.05). In contrast, the ADC values of all patient groups and the control group did not show any difference (p >0.05). In terms of lower MI and total MI, significant differences were observed between all patient groups (p <0.05). In addition, significant differences in terms of the upper MI scores were observed between groups A and C and between groups B and C (p <0.05); however, no significant difference was observed between groups A and B (p>0.05). Conclusion: The increased fiber volume of the CST in the unaffected hemisphere appears to be related to functional walking ability in chronic stroke patients. This result would be useful for elucidation of the neural recovery mechanism of walking and the investigation of new modalities for the recovery of walking following a stroke with CST injury.