The reason behind the balance control disorder seen in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) has been suggested as a central nervous system dysfunction, yet it has not been investigated in detail whether this problem originates from sensory, motor, or from both systems. This study aimed to reveal the differences in the pathways that provide proprioceptive sense, motor control, and coordination between these 2 systems in female individuals with AIS.
Brain Diffusion Tensor Imaging was applied to 30 healthy individuals and 30 Lenke type 1 AIS patients. All of the individuals included in the study were predominantly right-handed and aged between 10 and 18. Diffusion tensor imaging of both groups were performed bilateral tractography on the corticospinal tract (CS tr), medial lemniscus (ML), superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF), and inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF) tracts using DSI Studio software.
Significant differences in the parameters of CS tr, ML, SLF, ILF pathways were found between the AIS and the control groups. In the AIS group, significant differences were found in the fiber count and fiber ratio of the ML that carries the proprioceptive sense and CS tr, which is responsible for the somatomotor system. There were also significant differences between the left and right CS tr, ML, SLF, and ILF pathways of the AIS group (P<0.05).
Differences in the CS tr, ML, SLF, and ILF pathways may trigger muscular asymmetry and cause postural instability and thus spinal deformity in AIS.