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Stroke results in varying levels of motor and sensory disability that have been linked to the neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation that occur in the infarct and peri-infarct regions within the brain. Specifically, previous research has identified a key role of the corticospinal tract in motor dysfunction and motor recovery post-stroke. Of note, neuroimaging studies have utilized magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain to describe the timeline of neurodegeneration of the corticospinal tract in tandem with motor function following a stroke. However, research has suggested that alternate motor pathways may also underlie disease progression and the degree of functional recovery post-stroke. Here, we assert that expanding neuroimaging techniques beyond the brain could expand our knowledge of alternate motor pathway structure post-stroke. In the present work, we will highlight findings that suggest that alternate motor pathways contribute to post-stroke motor dysfunction and recovery, such as the reticulospinal and rubrospinal tract. Then we review imaging and electrophysiological techniques that evaluate alternate motor pathways in populations of stroke and other neurodegenerative disorders. We will then outline and describe spinal cord neuroimaging techniques being used in other neurodegenerative disorders that may provide insight into alternate motor pathways post-stroke.


Copyright © 2024 Oquita, Cuello, Uppati, Mannuru, Salinas, Dobbs and Potter-Baker. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Publication Title

Frontiers in Neurology



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Mentor/PI Department


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Neurology Commons



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