TitleA Systematic Review of Investigations into Functional Brain Connectivity Following Spinal Cord Injury.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsAthanasiou, Alkinoos, Klados Manousos, Pandria Niki, Foroglou Nicolas, Rafailia Kavazidi Kyriaki, Polyzoidis Konstantinos, and Bamidis Panagiotis
JournalFront Hum Neurosci
Date Published2017

: Complete or incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI) results in varying degree of motor, sensory and autonomic impairment. Long-lasting, often irreversible disability results from disconnection of efferent and afferent pathways. How does this disconnection affect brain function is not so clear. Changes in brain organization and structure have been associated with SCI and have been extensively studied and reviewed. Yet, our knowledge regarding brain connectivity changes following SCI is overall lacking. : In this study we conduct a systematic review of articles regarding investigations of functional brain networks following SCI, searching on PubMed, Scopus and ScienceDirect according to PRISMA-P 2015 statement standards. : Changes in brain connectivity have been shown even during the early stages of the chronic condition and correlate with the degree of neurological impairment. Connectivity changes appear as dynamic post-injury procedures. Sensorimotor networks of patients and healthy individuals share similar patterns but new functional interactions have been identified as unique to SCI networks. : Large-scale, multi-modal, longitudinal studies on SCI patients are needed to understand how brain network reorganization is established and progresses through the course of the condition. The expected insight holds clinical relevance in preventing maladaptive plasticity after SCI through individualized neurorehabilitation, as well as the design of connectivity-based brain-computer interfaces and assistive technologies for SCI patients.

Alternate JournalFront Hum Neurosci
PubMed ID29163098
PubMed Central IDPMC5669283