Towards prognostic functional brain biomarkers for cervical myelopathy: A resting-state fMRI study.
Takenaka S., Kan S., Seymour B., Makino T., Sakai Y., Kushioka J., Tanaka H., Watanabe Y., Shibata M., Yoshikawa H., Kaito T.
Recently, there has been increasing interest in strategies to predict neurological recovery in cervical myelopathy (CM) based on clinical images of the cervical spine. In this study, we aimed to explore potential preoperative brain biomarkers that can predict postoperative neurological recovery in CM patients by using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and functional connectivity (FC) analysis. Twenty-eight patients with CM and 28 age- and sex-matched healthy controls (HCs) underwent rs-fMRI (twice for CM patients, before and six months after surgery). A seed-to-voxel analysis was performed, and the following three statistical analyses were conducted: (i) FC comparisons between preoperative CM and HC; (ii) correlation analysis between preoperative FCs and clinical scores; and (iii) postoperative FC changes in CM. Our analyses identified three FCs between the visual cortex and the right superior frontal gyrus based on the conjunction of the first two analyses [(i) and (ii)]. These FCs may act as potential biomarkers for postoperative gain in the 10-second test and might be sufficient to provide a prediction formula for potential recovery. Our findings provide preliminary evidence supporting the possibility of novel predictive measures for neurological recovery in CM using rs-fMRI.