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Neuroplasticity during recovery of attentional function after parietal stroke

Funding Program

BrainsCAN Accelerator Grant: Stimulus
Awarded: $99,625

Additional BrainsCAN Support

Computational Core
Imaging Core
NHP Core

Western Faculty, Group or Institution

Department of Medical Biophysics, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry


Stroke & ischemic brain injury, neuroplasticity, MRI, novel neuroscience/neuroimaging techniques



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Two percent of Canadians live with the effects of stroke. These effects are wide ranging - impairing motor function, speech production and general cognition. While the symptoms are acutely debilitating, patients with mild or moderate symptoms often show significant recovery in the weeks and months following their stroke.

The Problem

While it is broadly acknowledged that intense rehabilitation shortly after a stroke can greatly improve the long-term outcomes, we don't understand how rehabilitation interacts with structural and functional reorganization of damaged brain networks.

Functional MRI studies have shown functional connectivity and cognitive changes during recovery from stroke. They have helped us understand the brain networks involved in recovery, but not the biophysical changes that occur and when they occur.

The Project

The overall goal of this transformative program is to gain more specific insight into neuroplasticity during stroke recovery. We will be studying parietal strokes (a type of stroke that occurs at the back of the brain) by obtaining advanced structural and functional neuroimaging data during the period of recovery. We can identify markers of neuroplasticity in the data and then try to relate them to changes in the impact of a participant's symptoms. We hope that this will allow us to be able to make predictions about recovery.

This project utilizes advanced MRI data acquisition methods that we have recently developed. We believe these methods will give new insight into microscopic structural neuroplasticity at a cellular level. Our combination of sophisticated microstructural imaging with measures of functional connectivity during stroke recovery will shed light onto the linkages between structural and functional neuroplasticity.

Western Researchers

Corey Baron
Stefan Everling
Ali Khan
Blake Butler
Dan Miller

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