Corpus Callosum Structural Integrity Is Associated with Postural Control Improvement in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis Who Have Minimal Disability

Daniel Peterson, Geetanjali Gera, Fay B. Horak, Brett W. Fling

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    8 Scopus citations


    Background. Improvement of postural control in persons with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) is an important target for neurorehabilitation. Although PwMS are able to improve postural performance with training, the neural underpinnings of these improvements are poorly understood. Objective. To understand the neural underpinnings of postural motor learning in PwMS. Methods. Supraspinal white matter structural connectivity in PwMS was correlated with improvements in postural performance (balancing on an oscillating surface over 25 trials) and retention of improvements (24 hours later). Results. Improvement in postural performance was directly correlated to microstructural integrity of white matter tracts, measured as radial diffusivity, in the corpus callosum, posterior parieto-sensorimotor fibers and the brainstem in PwMS. Within the corpus callosum, the genu and midbody (fibers connecting the prefrontal and primary motor cortices, respectively) were most strongly correlated to improvements in postural control. Twenty-four-hour retention was not correlated to radial diffusivity. Conclusion. PwMS who exhibited poorer white matter tract integrity connecting the cortical hemispheres via the corpus callosum showed the most difficulty learning to control balance on an unstable surface. Prediction of improvements in postural control through training (ie, motor learning) via structural imaging of the brain may allow for identification of individuals who are particularly well suited for postural rehabilitation interventions.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)343-353
    Number of pages11
    JournalNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Apr 1 2017



    • balance
    • diffusion tensor imaging
    • motor learning
    • multiple sclerosis
    • posture
    • white matter

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Rehabilitation
    • Neurology
    • Clinical Neurology

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