Characterizing the impact of silent lesions on stroke recovery using multimodal neuroimaging

Half of individuals recovering from a stroke have some form of impaired cognition, which hampers their independence. One possible contributor to impaired cognition after stroke is the presence of small “silent” lesions, which are detected in up to 28 percent of individuals with stroke.

Currently, there is little data describing the impact of silent lesions on stroke recovery. This study will determine if impaired cognition after stroke is associated with the presence and quantity of silent lesions.

Multimodal neuroimaging will identify how silent lesions affect brain function after stroke and determine if the number and/or type of silent lesion differently impacts cognition or brain function. The impact of silent lesions on brain function will be assessed by measuring cerebral vascular reactivity and examining neural network activity during a cognitive task.

Together with a battery of cognitive assessments, these measures will help explain how silent lesions alter cognition after a stroke. This knowledge will lead to the development of new interventions that account for silent lesions, resulting in improved quality of life for Canadians with stroke.