Relation between rich-club organization versus brain functions and functional recovery after acute ischemic stroke

Lu Wang, Xiaopei Xu, Kui Kai Lau, Leonard SW Li, Yuen Kwun Wong, Christina Yau, Henry KF Mak, Edward S Hui (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Studies have shown the brain's rich-club organization may underpin brain function and be associated with various brain disorders. In this study, we aimed to investigate the relation between poststroke brain functions and functional recovery versus the rich-club organization of the structural brain network of patients after first-time acute ischemic stroke. A cohort of 16 acute ischemic stroke patients (11 males) was recruited. Structural brain networks were measured using diffusion tensor imaging within 1 week and at 1, 3 and 6 months after stroke. Motor impairment was assessed using the Upper-Extremity Fugl-Meyer motor scale and activities of daily living using the Barthel Index at the same time points as MRI. The rich-club regions that were stable over the course of stroke recovery included the bilateral dorsolateral superior frontal gyri, right supplementary motor area, and left median cingulate and paracingulate gyri. The network properties that correlated with poststroke brain functions were mainly the ratio between communication cost ratio and density ratio of rich-club, feeder and local connections. The recovery of both motor functions and activities of daily living were correlated with higher normalized rich club coefficients and a shorter length of local connections within a week after stroke. The communication cost ratio of feeder connections, the length of rich-club and local connections, and normalized rich club coefficients were found to be potential prognostic indicators of stroke recovery. Our results provide additional support to the notion that different types of network connections play different roles in brain functions as well as functional recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Article number147441
Pages (from-to)147441
Number of pages1
JournalBrain Research
Early online date19 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2021


  • Diffusion-weighted imaging
  • Functional prediction
  • Rich-club organization
  • Stroke recovery
  • Structural network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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