Changes in ipsilesional hand motor function differ after unilateral injury to frontal versus frontoparietal cortices in Macaca mulatta
We tested the hypothesis that injury to frontoparietal sensorimotor areas causes greater initial impairments in performance and poorer recovery of ipsilesional dexterous hand/finger movements than lesions limited to frontal motor areas in rhesus monkeys. Reaching and grasping/manipulation of small targets with the ipsilesional hand were assessed for 6–12 months post-injury using two motor tests. Initial post-lesion motor skill and long-term recovery of motor skill were compared in two groups of monkeys: (1) F2 group—five cases with lesions of arm areas of primary motor cortex (M1) and lateral premotor cortex (LPMC) and (2) F2P2 group—five cases with F2 lesions + lesions of arm areas of primary somatosensory cortex and the anterior portion of area 5. Initial post-lesion reach and manipulation skills were similar to or better than pre-lesion skills in most F2 lesion cases in a difficult fine motor task but worse than pre-lesion skill in most F2P2 lesion cases in all tasks. Subsequently, reaching and manipulation skills improved over the post-lesion period to higher than pre-lesion skills in both groups, but improvements were greater in the F2 lesion group, perhaps due to additional task practice and greater ipsilesional limb use for daily activities. Poorer and slower post-lesion improvement of ipsilesional upper limb motor skill in the F2P2 cases may be due to impaired somatosensory processing. The persistent ipsilesional upper limb motor deficits frequently observed in humans after stroke are probably caused by greater subcortical white and gray matter damage than in the localized surgical injuries studied here.
KeywordsReach Grasp Manipulation Brain injury
Supported by National Institutes of Health Grants NS 046367 and NS 097450.
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