Functional Connectivity on fMRI in Traumatic Cervical Spine Cord Injury

Principal Investigator: Lubdha Shah
Keywords: Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) , Magnetic Resonance Imaging , Diffusion Tensor Imaging Department: Radiology Clinical
IRB Number: 00063552 Co Investigator: Jeffrey Anderson
Specialty: Radiology, Neurosurgery, Radiology, Radiology, Radiology
Sub Specialties: Head and Neck Imaging, Neuroradiology, Magnetic Resonance Imaging – MRI
Recruitment Status: Recruiting

Contact Information

Charles Latner
(801) 587-8638

Brief Summary

The aim of this project will be to determine the presence of reorganization in cortical motor neural networks following spinal cord injury (SCI) compared to healthy volunteers utilizing resting-state fMRI. Clinical correlations with ASIA impairment scale will also be performed. In addition, using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) we hope to show that SCI will be associated with altered diffusion properties in the primary motor cortex, greatest in the region of primary motor cortex that innervates the paralyzed part of the body as well as in the descending corticospinal tract fibers, indicative of significant neural loss. Ultimately, these findings might be used to predict outcome in patients with traumatic spinal cord injury, identify neural substrates of complications such as phantom limb syndrome, and help to design more effective therapeutic strategies.


Inclusion Criteria

The main inclusion criterion is patients referred to the University of Utah for acute cervical spinal cord injury. 

Exclusion Criteria

Exclusion criteria include patient’s chronological age less than 18 years or older than 41 years of age, a past medical history significant for (1) neurologic disease including cervical spondylotic myelopathy, or systemic disease affecting the central or peripheral nervous system or (2) traumatic brain injury. Prisoners and pregnant women will be excluded.