Cerebral perfusion of the left reading network predicts recovery of reading in subacute to chronic stroke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


External Institution(s)

  • Kessler Foundation
  • Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey, Newark


Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5301-5314
Number of pages14
JournalHuman brain mapping
Issue number18
StatusPublished - Dec 15 2019


Better understanding of cerebral blood flow (CBF) perfusion in stroke recovery can help inform decisions about optimal timing and targets of restorative treatments. In this study, we examined the relationship between cerebral perfusion and recovery from stroke-induced reading deficits. Left stroke patients were tested with a noninvasive CBF measure (arterial spin labeling) <5 weeks post-stroke, and a subset had follow up testing >3 months post-stroke. We measured blood flow perfusion within the left and right sides of the brain, in areas surrounding the lesion, and areas belonging to the reading network. Two hypotheses were tested. The first was that recovery of reading function depends on increased perfusion around the stroke lesion. This hypothesis was not supported by our findings. The second hypothesis was that increased perfusion of intact areas within the reading circuit is tightly coupled with recovery. Our findings are consistent with this hypothesis. Specifically, higher perfusion in the left reading network measured during the subacute stroke period predicted better reading ability and phonology competence in the chronic period. In contrast, higher perfusion of the right homologous regions was associated with decreased reading accuracy and phonology competence in the subacute and chronic periods. These findings suggest that recovery of reading and language competence may rely on improved blood flow in the reading network of the language-dominant hemisphere.

    Research areas

  • ASL, MRI, arterial spin labeling, phonology, reading, reading network, recovery, semantics, stroke

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