Dynamic balance control is associated with the function of multiple brain networks and is impaired following Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). This study aims to characterize the functional and structural correlates of ABI-induced dynamic balance impairments and recovery following a rehabilitation treatment. Thirty-one chronic participants with ABI participated in a novel rehabilitation treatment composed of 22 sessions of a perturbation-based rehabilitation training. Dynamic balance was assessed using the Community Balance and Mobility scale (CB&M) and the 10-Meter Walking Test (10MWT). Brain function was estimated using resting-state fMRI imaging that was analysed using independent component analysis (ICA), and regions-of-interest analyses. Brain morphology was also assessed using structural MRI. ICA revealed a reduction in component-related activation within the sensorimotor and cerebellar networks post-intervention. Improvement in CB&M scale was associated with a reduction in FC within the cerebellar network and with baseline FC within the cerebellar-putamen and cerebellar-thalamic networks. Improvement in 10MWT was associated with baseline FC within the cerebellar-putamen and cerebellar-cortical networks. Brain volume analysis did not reveal structural correlates of dynamic balance, but dynamic balance was correlated with time since injury. Our results show that dynamic balance recovery is associated with FC reduction within and between the cerebellar and sensorimotor networks. The lack of global structural correlates of dynamic balance may point to the involvement of specific networks in balance control.
© 2022. The Author(s).