Relating resting-state hemodynamic changes to the variable language profiles in post-stroke aphasia.
Linking both structural lesions and the functional integrity of remaining brain tissue to patients' behavioural profile may be critical in discovering the limits of behavioural recovery post stroke. In the present study, we explored the relationship between temporal hemodynamic changes and language performance in chronic post-stroke aphasia. We collected detailed language and neuropsychological data for 66 patients with chronic (>1 year) post-stroke aphasia. We used principal component analysis to extract their core language-neuropsychological features. From resting-state fMRI scans in 35 patients, we calculated the lag in the time-course of the intact brain voxels in each patient. Finally, variation across the language-cognitive factors was related to both the patients' structural damage and the time-course changes in each patient's intact tissue. Phonological abilities were correlated with the structural integrity of the left superior temporal, angular gyrus, supramarginal gyrus and arcuate fasciculus regions and hemodynamic advance in the left intra-parietal sulcus. Speech fluency related to integrity of premotor regions, plus hemodynamic advance in the left middle/superior temporal gyrus, left middle occipital gyrus, and right angular gyrus. Semantic performance reflected a combination of medial ventral temporal lobe status and hemodynamic delay in the left posterior middle temporal gyrus. Finally, executive abilities correlated with hemodynamic delay in the left middle/inferior frontal gyrus, right rolandic operculum, bilateral supplementary motor areas/middle cingulum areas, and bilateral thalamus/caudate. Following stroke, patients' patterns of chronic language abilities reflects a combination of structural and functional integrity across a distributed network of brain regions. The correlation between hemodynamic changes and behaviours may have clinical importance.