Ischaemic stroke is the leading cause of adult disability worldwide. Effective rehabilitation is hindered by uncertainty surrounding the underlying mechanisms that govern long-term ischaemic injury progression. Despite its potential as a sensitive non-invasive in vivo marker of brain function that may aid in the development of new treatments, blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has found limited application in the clinical research on chronic stage stroke progression. Stroke affects each of the physiological parameters underlying the BOLD contrast, markedly complicating the interpretation of BOLD fMRI data. This review summarizes current progress on application of BOLD fMRI in the chronic stage of ischaemic injury progression and discusses means by which more information may be gained from such BOLD fMRI measurements. Concomitant measurements of vascular reactivity, neuronal activity and metabolism in preclinical models of stroke are reviewed along with illustrative examples of post-ischaemic evolution in neuronal, glial and vascular function. The realization of the BOLD fMRI potential to propel stroke research is predicated on the carefully designed preclinical research establishing an ischaemia-specific quantitative model of BOLD signal contrast to provide the framework for interpretation of fMRI findings in clinical populations.
This article is part of the themed issue ‘Interpreting BOLD: a dialogue between cognitive and cellular neuroscience’.
One contribution of 15 to a Theo Murphy meeting issue ‘Interpreting BOLD: a dialogue between cognitive and cellular neuroscience’.
- Accepted June 1, 2016.
- © 2016 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.