Physiotherapy - Research Publications

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    Cortical thickness estimation in longitudinal stroke studies: A comparison of 3 measurement methods
    Li, Q ; Pardoe, H ; Lichter, R ; Werden, E ; Raffelt, A ; Cumming, T ; Brodtmann, A (ELSEVIER SCI LTD, 2015-01-01)
    There is considerable controversy about the causes of cognitive decline after stroke, with evidence for both the absence and coexistence of Alzheimer pathology. A reduction in cortical thickness has been shown to be an important biomarker for the progression of many neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, brain volume changes following stroke are not well described. Cortical thickness estimation presents an ideal way to detect regional and global post-stroke brain atrophy. In this study, we imaged a group of patients in the first month after stroke and at 3 months. We compared three methods of estimating cortical thickness on unmasked images: one surface-based (FreeSurfer) and two voxel-based methods (a Laplacian method and a registration method, DiRecT). We used three benchmarks for our analyses: accuracy of segmentation (especially peri-lesional performance), reproducibility, and biological validity. We found important differences between these methods in cortical thickness values and performance in high curvature areas and peri-lesional regions, but similar reproducibility metrics. FreeSurfer had less reliance on manual boundary correction than the other two methods, while reproducibility was highest in the Laplacian method. A discussion of the caveats for each method and recommendations for use in a stroke population is included. We conclude that both surface- and voxel-based methods are valid for estimating cortical thickness in stroke populations.
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    Structural MRI markers of brain aging early after ischemic stroke
    Werden, E ; Cumming, T ; Li, Q ; Bird, L ; Veldsman, M ; Pardoe, HR ; Jackson, G ; Donnan, GA ; Brodtmann, A (LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, 2017-07-11)
    OBJECTIVE: To examine associations between ischemic stroke, vascular risk factors, and MRI markers of brain aging. METHODS: Eighty-one patients (mean age 67.5 ± 13.1 years, 31 left-sided, 61 men) with confirmed first-ever (n = 66) or recurrent (n = 15) ischemic stroke underwent 3T MRI scanning within 6 weeks of symptom onset (mean 26 ± 9 days). Age-matched controls (n = 40) completed identical testing. Multivariate regression analyses examined associations between group membership and MRI markers of brain aging (cortical thickness, total brain volume, white matter hyperintensity [WMH] volume, hippocampal volume), normalized against intracranial volume, and the effects of vascular risk factors on these relationships. RESULTS: First-ever stroke was associated with smaller hippocampal volume (p = 0.025) and greater WMH volume (p = 0.004) relative to controls. Recurrent stroke was in turn associated with smaller hippocampal volume relative to both first-ever stroke (p = 0.017) and controls (p = 0.001). These associations remained significant after adjustment for age, sex, education, and, in stroke patients, infarct volume. Total brain volume was not significantly smaller in first-ever stroke patients than in controls (p = 0.056), but the association became significant after further adjustment for atrial fibrillation (p = 0.036). Cortical thickness and brain volumes did not differ as a function of stroke type, infarct volume, or etiology. CONCLUSIONS: Brain structure is likely to be compromised before ischemic stroke by vascular risk factors. Smaller hippocampal and total brain volumes and increased WMH load represent proxies for underlying vascular brain injury.
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    STROKOG (stroke and cognition consortium): An international consortium to examine the epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of neurocognitive disorders in relation to cerebrovascular disease.
    Sachdev, PS ; Lo, JW ; Crawford, JD ; Mellon, L ; Hickey, A ; Williams, D ; Bordet, R ; Mendyk, A-M ; Gelé, P ; Deplanque, D ; Bae, H-J ; Lim, J-S ; Brodtmann, A ; Werden, E ; Cumming, T ; Köhler, S ; Verhey, FRJ ; Dong, Y-H ; Tan, HH ; Chen, C ; Xin, X ; Kalaria, RN ; Allan, LM ; Akinyemi, RO ; Ogunniyi, A ; Klimkowicz-Mrowiec, A ; Dichgans, M ; Wollenweber, FA ; Zietemann, V ; Hoffmann, M ; Desmond, DW ; Linden, T ; Blomstrand, C ; Fagerberg, B ; Skoog, I ; Godefroy, O ; Barbay, M ; Roussel, M ; Lee, B-C ; Yu, K-H ; Wardlaw, J ; Makin, SJ ; Doubal, FN ; Chappell, FM ; Srikanth, VK ; Thrift, AG ; Donnan, GA ; Kandiah, N ; Chander, RJ ; Lin, X ; Cordonnier, C ; Moulin, S ; Rossi, C ; Sabayan, B ; Stott, DJ ; Jukema, JW ; Melkas, S ; Jokinen, H ; Erkinjuntti, T ; Mok, VCT ; Wong, A ; Lam, BYK ; Leys, D ; Hénon, H ; Bombois, S ; Lipnicki, DM ; Kochan, NA ; STROKOG, (Wiley, 2017)
    INTRODUCTION: The Stroke and Cognition consortium (STROKOG) aims to facilitate a better understanding of the determinants of vascular contributions to cognitive disorders and help improve the diagnosis and treatment of vascular cognitive disorders (VCD). METHODS: Longitudinal studies with ≥75 participants who had suffered or were at risk of stroke or TIA and which evaluated cognitive function were invited to join STROKOG. The consortium will facilitate projects investigating rates and patterns of cognitive decline, risk factors for VCD, and biomarkers of vascular dementia. RESULTS: Currently, STROKOG includes 25 (21 published) studies, with 12,092 participants from five continents. The duration of follow-up ranges from 3 months to 21 years. DISCUSSION: Although data harmonization will be a key challenge, STROKOG is in a unique position to reuse and combine international cohort data and fully explore patient level characteristics and outcomes. STROKOG could potentially transform our understanding of VCD and have a worldwide impact on promoting better vascular cognitive outcomes.
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    Fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF) in post-stroke depression
    Egorova, N ; Veldsman, M ; Cumming, T ; Brodtmann, A (ELSEVIER SCI LTD, 2017-01-01)
    Depression is a common outcome following stroke, associated with reduced quality of life and poorer recovery. Despite attempts to associate depression symptoms with specific lesion sites, the neural basis of post-stroke depression remains poorly understood. Resting state fMRI has provided new insights into the neural underpinnings of post-stroke depression, but has been limited to connectivity analyses exploring interregional correlations in the time-course of activity. Other aspects of resting state BOLD signal remain unexamined. Measuring the amplitude of low frequency fluctuations allows the detection of spontaneous neural activity across the whole brain. It provides complementary information about frequency-specific local neural activity. We calculated the fractional amplitude of low frequency fluctuations (fALFF) in a group of 64 participants scanned 3 months post-stroke. Twenty showed depression symptoms when assessed with the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). We performed analyses in both the typical 0.01-0.08 Hz range, as well as separately in the slow-5 (0.01-0.027 Hz) and slow-4 (0.027-0.073 Hz) ranges. We found significantly higher fALFF in the depressed compared to non-depressed participants in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the right precentral gyrus, and a significant association between higher depression scores and higher fALFF in the left insula. The group differences were detected in the slow-5 fluctuations, while the association with depression severity was observed in the slow-4 range. We conclude that post-stroke depression can be characterised by aberrant spontaneous local neural activity, which in small samples could be a more sensitive measure than lesion volume and location.
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    Validity of Multisensor Array for Measuring Energy Expenditure of an Activity Bout in Early Stroke Survivors
    Kramer, SF ; Johnson, L ; Bernhardt, J ; Cumming, T (HINDAWI LTD, 2018-01-01)
    Introduction. Stroke survivors use more energy than healthy people during activities such as walking, which has consequences for the way exercise is prescribed for stroke survivors. There is a need for wearable device that can validly measure energy expenditure (EE) of activity to inform exercise prescription early after stroke. We aimed to determine the validity and reliability of the SenseWear-Armband (SWA) to measure EE and step-counts during activity <1 month after stroke. Materials and Methods. EE was measured using the SWA and metabolic cart and steps-counts were measured using the SWA and direct observation. Based on walking ability, participants performed 2x six-minute walks or repeated sit-to-stands. Concurrent validity and test-retest reliability were determined by calculating intraclass and concordance correlation coefficients. Results and Discussion. Thirteen participants walked; nine performed sit-to-stands. Validity of the SWA measuring EE for both activities was poor (ICC/CCC < 0.40). The SWA overestimates EE during walking and underestimated EE during sit-to-stands. Test-retest agreement showed an ICC/CCC of <0.40 and >0.75 for walking and sit-to-stand, respectively. However, agreement levels changed with increasing EE levels (i.e., proportional bias). The SWA did not accurately measure step-counts. Conclusion. The SWA should be used with caution to measure EE of activity of mild to moderate stroke survivors <1 month after stroke.
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    Longitudinal evaluation of cognition after stroke - A systematic scoping review
    Saa, JP ; Tse, T ; Baum, C ; Cumming, T ; Josman, N ; Rose, M ; Carey, L ; Quinn, TJ (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2019-08-29)
    BACKGROUND: Cognitive impairment affects up to 80 percent of the stroke population, however, both the available evidence about post-stroke cognition and the measures used to evaluate it longitudinally have not been well described. The aims of this systematic scoping review were: to identify and characterize studies evaluating cognition longitudinally after stroke; to summarize the cognitive instruments used and the domains they target; and to organize cognitive domains assessed using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). METHODS: We used a systematic scoping approach to search for peer-reviewed articles involving adults with stroke that evaluated cognition longitudinally. Screening of titles, abstracts, and full reports was completed independently by two reviewers, across six electronic databases (PubMed, PsycInfo, Medline, Cinahl Plus, Embase, and Web of Science). Cognitive domains were mapped to an ICF function independently by the same two reviewers, using a previously tested, standardized approach. RESULTS: A total of 5,540 records were found; 257 were included, representing a total pooled sample of 120,860 stroke survivors. Of these studies, 200 (78%) provided specific cognitive outcomes from the longitudinal evaluations, 57 (22%) reported model predictions, and 77 (30%) included interventions. Cognition was evaluated with 356 unique instruments, targeting 95 distinct cognitive domains, and 17 mental functions from the ICF. The Mini-Mental State Examination was the most frequently used instrument (117 reports, 46%). Other tools used longitudinally were the Trail Making Test (17% of reports), tests of verbal fluency (14%), the Functional Independence Measure (14%), the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (13%), the Digit Span (11%), and the Stroop test (10%). Global cognition was evaluated in 170 reports (66%), followed by higher-level cognitive functioning (29%), memory (28%), language (21%), attention (21%), and perceptual skills (14%). Studies using functional (or performance-based) cognitive assessments over time were scarce (< 1%). CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate that whilst there is a substantial number of studies available that report longitudinal evaluations of cognition after stroke, there is large variability in the measures used and the cognitive domains they target. Nonetheless, the available data for evaluation of cognition over time after stroke can be organized and described systematically.
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    How are early post-stroke exercise interventions developed? A systematic review
    Kramer, S ; Kaffenberger, T ; Cumming, T ; Bernhardt, J ; Johnson, L (SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2018-08-01)
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    Does left ventricular hypertrophy affect cognition and brain structural integrity in type 2 diabetes? Study design and rationale of the Diabetes and Dementia (D2) study
    Patel, SK ; Restrepo, C ; Werden, E ; Churilov, L ; Ekinci, EI ; Srivastava, PM ; Ramchand, J ; Wai, B ; Chambers, B ; O'Callaghan, CJ ; Darby, D ; Hachinski, V ; Cumming, T ; Donnan, G ; Burrell, LM ; Brodtmann, A (BMC, 2017-04-07)
    BACKGROUND: Cognitive impairment is common in type 2 diabetes mellitus, and there is a strong association between type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. However, we do not know which type 2 diabetes patients will dement or which biomarkers predict cognitive decline. Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is potentially such a marker. LVH is highly prevalent in type 2 diabetes and is a strong, independent predictor of cardiovascular events. To date, no studies have investigated the association between LVH and cognitive decline in type 2 diabetes. The Diabetes and Dementia (D2) study is designed to establish whether patients with type 2 diabetes and LVH have increased rates of brain atrophy and cognitive decline. METHODS: The D2 study is a single centre, observational, longitudinal case control study that will follow 168 adult patients aged >50 years with type 2 diabetes: 50% with LVH (case) and 50% without LVH (control). It will assess change in cardiovascular risk, brain imaging and neuropsychological testing between two time-points, baseline (0 months) and 24 months. The primary outcome is brain volume change at 24 months. The co-primary outcome is the presence of cognitive decline at 24 months. The secondary outcome is change in left ventricular mass associated with brain atrophy and cognitive decline at 24 months. DISCUSSION: The D2 study will test the hypothesis that patients with type 2 diabetes and LVH will exhibit greater brain atrophy than those without LVH. An understanding of whether LVH contributes to cognitive decline, and in which patients, will allow us to identify patients at particular risk. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ( ACTRN12616000546459 ), date registered, 28/04/2016.
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    Measuring Activity Levels at an Acute Stroke Ward: Comparing Observations to a Device
    Kramer, SF ; Cumming, T ; Churilov, L ; Bernhardt, J (HINDAWI LTD, 2013-01-01)
    BACKGROUND: If a simple system of instrumented monitoring was possible early after stroke, therapists may be able to more readily gather information about activity and monitor progress over time. Our aim was to establish whether a device containing a dual-axis accelerometer provides similar information to behavioural mapping on physical activity patterns early after stroke. METHODS: Twenty participants with recent stroke ≤ 2 weeks and aged >18 were recruited and monitored at an acute stroke ward. The monitoring device (attached to the unaffected leg) and behavioural mapping (observation) were simultaneously applied from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Both methods recorded the time participants spent lying, sitting, and upright. RESULTS: The median percentage and interquartile range (IQR) of time spent lying, sitting, and upright recorded by the device were 36% (15-68), 51% (28-72), and 2% (1-5), respectively. Agreement between the methods was substantial: Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (95% CI): lying 0.74 (0.46-0.89), sitting 0.68 (0.36-0.86), and upright 0.72 (0.43-0.88). CONCLUSION: Patients are inactive in an acute stroke setting. In acute stroke, estimates of time spent lying, sitting, and upright measured by a device are valid.
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    Exercise Preferences Are Different after Stroke
    Banks, G ; Bernhardt, J ; Churilov, L ; Cumming, TB (HINDAWI LTD, 2012-01-01)
    Objective. To explore exercise preferences in stroke survivors and controls. Methods. A novel scale-the Exercise Preference Questionnaire-was developed for this study. This questionnaire, together with established assessments of physical activities, mood, and quality of life, was completed in a single assessment session. Results. Twenty-three adult stroke survivors (mean age 63, 65% male) and 41 healthy controls (mean age 61, 66% male) participated. The groups differed on 4 of the 5 a priori exercise preference factors: relative to controls, stroke survivors preferred exercise to be more structured, in a group, at a gym or fitness centre, and for exercises to be demonstrated. Factor analysis yielded 6 data-driven factors, and these factors also differentiated stroke and control groups. There was evidence that group differences were diminished when activity levels and psychological wellbeing were accounted for. Individual variability in exercise preferences and reported barriers to exercise are outlined. Conclusion. Stroke survivors have different exercise preferences, and a better understanding of these preferences can be used to inform rehabilitation programs and increase adherence.