The impact of brain lesion characteristics and the corticospinal tract wiring on mirror movements in unilateral cerebral palsy

Cristina Simon-Martinez, Lisa Decraene, Ingar Zielinski, Brian Hoare, Jacqueline Williams, Lisa Mailleux, Bert Steenbergen, Els Ortibus, Hilde Feys, Katrijn Klingels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Mirror movements (MM) influence bimanual performance in children with unilateral cerebral palsy (uCP). Whilst MM are related to brain lesion characteristics and the corticospinal tract (CST) wiring pattern, the combined impact of these neurological factors remains unknown. Forty-nine children with uCP (mean age 10y6mo) performed a repetitive squeezing task to quantify similarity (MM-similarity) and strength (MM-intensity) of the MM activity. We used MRI data to evaluate lesion type (periventricular white matter, N = 30; cortico-subcortical, N = 19), extent of ipsilesional damage, presence of bilateral lesions, and damage to basal ganglia, thalamus and corpus callosum. The CST wiring was assessed with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (17 CSTcontralateral, 16 CSTipsilateral, 16 CSTbilateral). Data was analyzed with regression analyses. In the more-affected hand, MM-similarity and intensity were higher with CSTbilateral/ipsilateral. In the less-affected hand, MM-similarity was higher in children with (1) CSTcontra with CSC lesions, (2) CSTbilat/ipsi with PVL lesions and (3) CSTbilat/ipsi with unilateralized lesions. MM-intensity was higher with larger damage to the corpus callosum and unilateral lesions. A complex combination of neurological factors influences MM characteristics, and the mechanisms differ between hands.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16301
Number of pages12
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Cite this