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<jats:p content-type="fine-print">✓ Functional recovery after digit-to-hand replantation depends on the interaction of various factors. In addition to peripheral mechanisms, cortical and subcortical reorganization of digit representation may play a substantial role in the recovery process. However, cortical processes during the first months after replantation are not well understood.</jats:p><jats:p content-type="fine-print">In this 25-year-old man who had traumatically lost digits II to V (DII—V) on his right hand, the authors used magnetoencephalographic source imaging to document the recovery of somatosensory cortical responses after tactile stimulation at four sites on the replanted digits. Successful replantation of DIV and DV was accomplished at the original position of DIII and DIV with mixed innervation. Cortical evoked fields could be recorded starting from the 10th week after digit-to-hand replantation. Initially, signals from all sites showed decreased amplitudes and prolonged latencies. In the subsequent six recordings obtained between the 12th and 55th week postreplantation, a continuous increase in amplitude but only a slight recovery of latencies were observed. Components of the recorded somatosensory evoked fields were localized in the primary somatosensory cortex (SI). The localizations of the replanted DIV showed a gradual lateral-inferior shift in the somatosensory cortex over time, indicating cortical reorganization caused by altered peripheral input. The authors infer from this shift that the original cortical area of the missing finger (DII) was taken over by the replanted finger.</jats:p><jats:p content-type="fine-print">From these data the authors conclude that magnetic source imaging might be a reliable noninvasive method to evaluate surgical nerve repair and that cortical reorganization of SI is involved in the regeneration process following peripheral nerve injury.</jats:p>
Memory retrieval is accompanied by a reactivation of cortical and subcortical areas that have been active during encoding. This neural reinstatement is stronger during retrieval of pain-associated material compared with other unpleasant events. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we investigated the differences in neural reinstatement during recognition of visual stimuli that had been paired with face or hand pain during memory encoding. Body site-specific neural reinstatement was tested in 23 healthy young volunteers who performed a visual categorization and a surprise recognition task. Our data shows increased neural reinstatement in task-specific and encoding-related areas, such as the parahippocampus (left: x = -26, y = -30, z = -18, t = 4.11; right: x = 26, y = -38, z = -6, t = 4.36), precuneus (x = 2, y = -56, z = 2, t = 3.77), fusiform gyrus (left: x = -24, y = -26, z = -20, t = 5.41; right: x = 18, y = -58, z = -14, t = 4.52), and amygdala (x = -34, y = -4, z = -20, t = 4.49) for pictures that were previously presented with face compared with hand pain. These results correlated with the individual's recognition confidence, although recognition rates did not differ between the conditions. Functional connectivity was increased between the amygdala and parahippocampus (x = 34, y = -10, z = -28, t = 5.13) for pictures that had previously been paired with face compared with hand pain. Our results were positively correlated with pain-related fear, represented by neural activation in the thalamus (x = -14, y = -35, z = 4, t = 3.54). The reported results can be interpreted as compensatory resource activation and support the notion of a stronger affective component of face compared with hand pain, potentially in line with its greater biological relevance. PERSPECTIVE: This study demonstrates neural reinstatement of face pain-related information, which might be related to the increased biological and affective component of face pain compared with pain on the extremities. Our results might contribute to the understanding of the development and prevalence of head and face pain conditions.