Resting-state connectivity and executive functions after pediatric arterial ischemic stroke

Salome Kornfeld, Rui Yuan, Bharat B. Biswal, Sebastian Grunt, Sandeep Kamal, Juan Antonio Delgado Rodríguez, Mária Regényi, Roland Wiest, Christian Weisstanner, Claus Kiefer, Maja Steinlin, Regula Everts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background The aim of this study was to compare the relationship between core executive functions and frontoparietal network connections at rest between children who had suffered an arterial ischemic stroke and typically developing peers. Methods Children diagnosed with arterial ischemic stroke more than two years previously and typically developing controls were included. Executive function (EF) measures comprised inhibition (Go-NoGo task), fluency (category fluency task), processing speed (processing speed tasks), divided attention, working memory (letter-number sequencing), conceptual reasoning (matrices) and EF in everyday life (questionnaire). High-resolution T1-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) structural images and resting-state functional MR imaging were acquired. Independent component analysis was used to identify the frontoparietal network. Functional connections were obtained through correlation matrices; associations between cognitive measures and functional connections through Pearson's correlations. Results Twenty participants after stroke (7 females; mean age 16.0 years) and 22 controls (13 females; mean age 14.8 years) were examined. Patients and controls performed within the normal range in all executive tasks. Patients who had had a stroke performed significantly less well in tests of fluency, processing speed and conceptual reasoning than controls. Resting-state functional connectivity between the left and right inferior parietal lobe was significantly reduced in patients after pediatric stroke. Fluency, processing speed and perceptual reasoning correlated positively with the interhemispheric inferior parietal lobe connection in patients and controls. Conclusion Decreased interhemispheric connections after stroke in childhood may indicate a disruption of typical interhemispheric interactions relating to executive functions. The present results emphasize the relationship between functional organization of the brain at rest and cognitive processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-367
Number of pages9
JournalNeuroImage: Clinical
StatePublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


  • Executive functions
  • Frontoparietal network
  • Pediatric arterial ischemic stroke
  • Resting-state fMRI


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