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Articles by C Weiller
Total Records ( 3 ) for C Weiller
  S Kloppel , B Draganski , H. R Siebner , S. J Tabrizi , C Weiller and R. S. J. Frackowiak

Involuntary choreiform movements are a clinical hallmark of Huntington's disease. Studies in clinically affected patients suggest a shift of motor activations to parietal cortices in response to progressive neurodegeneration. Here, we studied pre-symptomatic gene carriers to examine the compensatory mechanisms that underlie the phenomenon of retained motor function in the presence of degenerative change. Fifteen pre-symptomatic gene carriers and 12 matched controls performed button presses paced by a metronome at either 0.5 or 2 Hz with four fingers of the right hand whilst being scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging. Subjects pressed buttons either in the order of a previously learnt 10-item finger sequence, from left to right, or kept still. Error rates ranged from 2% to 7% in the pre-symptomatic gene carriers and from 0.5% to 4% in controls, depending on the condition. No significant difference in task performance was found between groups for any of the conditions. Activations in the supplementary motor area (SMA) and superior parietal lobe differed with gene status. Compared with healthy controls, gene carriers showed greater activations of left caudal SMA with all movement conditions. Activations correlated with increasing speed of movement were greater the closer the gene carriers were to estimated clinical diagnosis, defined by the onset of unequivocal motor signs. Activations associated with increased movement complexity (i.e. with the pre-learnt 10-item sequence) decreased in the rostral SMA with nearing diagnostic onset. The left superior parietal lobe showed reduced activation with increased movement complexity in gene carriers compared with controls, and in the right superior parietal lobe showed greater activations with all but the most demanding movements. We identified a complex pattern of motor compensation in pre-symptomatic gene carriers. The results show that preclinical compensation goes beyond a simple shift of activity from premotor to parietal regions involving multiple compensatory mechanisms in executive and cognitive motor areas. Critically, the pattern of motor compensation is flexible depending on the actual task demands on motor control.

  D Saur , O Ronneberger , D Kummerer , I Mader , C Weiller and S. Kloppel

An accurate prediction of system-specific recovery after stroke is essential to provide rehabilitation therapy based on the individual needs. We explored the usefulness of functional magnetic resonance imaging scans from an auditory language comprehension experiment to predict individual language recovery in 21 aphasic stroke patients. Subjects with an at least moderate language impairment received extensive language testing 2 weeks and 6 months after left-hemispheric stroke. A multivariate machine learning technique was used to predict language outcome 6 months after stroke. In addition, we aimed to predict the degree of language improvement over 6 months. 76% of patients were correctly separated into those with good and bad language performance 6 months after stroke when based on functional magnetic resonance imaging data from language relevant areas. Accuracy further improved (86% correct assignments) when age and language score were entered alongside functional magnetic resonance imaging data into the fully automatic classifier. A similar accuracy was reached when predicting the degree of language improvement based on imaging, age and language performance. No prediction better than chance level was achieved when exploring the usefulness of diffusion weighted imaging as well as functional magnetic resonance imaging acquired two days after stroke. This study demonstrates the high potential of current machine learning techniques to predict system-specific clinical outcome even for a disease as heterogeneous as stroke. Best prediction of language recovery is achieved when the brain activation potential after system-specific stimulation is assessed in the second week post stroke. More intensive early rehabilitation could be provided for those with a predicted poor recovery and the extension to other systems, for example, motor and attention seems feasible.

  M Markl , F Wegent , T Zech , S Bauer , C Strecker , M Schumacher , C Weiller , J Hennig and A. Harloff

The purpose of this study was to analyze the in vivo distribution of absolute wall shear stress (WSSabs) and oscillatory shear index (OSI) in the carotid bifurcation and to evaluate its dependence on bifurcation geometry, the presence of internal carotid artery (ICA) stenosis, and recanalization therapy.

Methods and Results—

Time-resolved 3D blood flow was acquired with flow-sensitive 4D MRI in 64 normal carotid bifurcations and 17 carotid arteries with moderate ICA stenosis (48±6%) or after surgical recanalization. Among 64 normal arteries, atherogenic wall parameters were consistently concentrated in proximal bulb regions of the common (CCA) and internal (ICA) carotid arteries. The fraction of the carotid bulb exposed to atherosclerosis-prone wall parameters (low WSSabs below and high OSI above group-defined 20% and 10% thresholds) was correlated with the individual bifurcation geometry. Multiple regressions revealed significant (P<0.01) relationships (β, 0.44 to 0.48) between the areas with atherosclerosis-prone wall parameters and the dICA/dCCA diameter ratio. The size of regions exposed to high OSI demonstrated highly significant (P≤0.01) relationships with all analyzed geometry parameters (dICA/dCCA β, 0.48; tortuosity β, ≤–0.56; bifurcation angle β, ≥0.47). Moderate ICA stenosis altered the distribution of wall parameters (45%/61% reduction of individually low WSSabs/high OSI in the proximal ICA), which were relocated to segments distal to the arterial stenosis. WSSabs/OSI topology after recanalization was similar compared with the normal wall parameter distribution.


Flow-sensitive 4D MRI identified alterations in the segmental in vivo WSS distribution associated with atherosclerotic disease, surgical therapy, and individual bifurcation geometry and could be a valuable technique to assess the individual risk of flow-mediated atherosclerosis and carotid plaque progression.

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